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Quantifying Treatment Planning Workload Using Complexity-Based Metrics

J Mechalakos*, C Della Biancia , P Wang , G Niyazov , E Hipp , K Morris , Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY


(Sunday, 7/29/2018) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Treatment planning resources at MSKCC are divided into 4 regions, each region containing 1-2 clinics with pooled planning. We reviewed daily workloads for 2017 using two metrics, “planner score� (SPlanner), which measures individual planner workload, and “regional temperature� (TRegion), which measures aggregate workload for each region, to objectively classify and compare individual and regional workload levels.

Methods: SPlanner and TRegion and calculated using an Excel/vba workbook that interfaces with our department planning database. A weight is first assigned to each plan based on disease site/technique complexity, phase, planner(s) assigned, and planning time. SPlanner is then calculated for each planner by summing weights of the plans they carry. TRegion for each region is subsequently calculated by averaging SPlanner over available planners. Average SPlanner for a subset of our Manhattan planners (N=24) and average TRegion values for each region (N=4) were compared for 2017 to examine inter-planner and inter-region variations in workload.

Results: Yearly average SPlanner values for Manhattan ranged from 9.0 to 13.7 due to variation in disease site concentrations among planners and the effect of non-planning rotations which lowered SPlanner. Average TRegion values for 2017 were 12.4+-1.7, 11.3+-2.0, 14.8+-2.5, and 12.5+-2.5 for our Manhattan, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester regions respectively. The higher average TRegion for New Jersey reflected temporary staffing shortages. Average TRegion over days that regions requested planning support from other regions in 2017 was 13.8+-2.4. Based on these results a sensible threshold for a region to declare a “heavy workload� is TRegion=13.5.

Conclusion: SPlanner and TRegion were useful for objectively quantifying workload. The spread in planner scores for 2017 was reasonable given variation in assignments. Regional differences in TRegion accurately reflected staffing shortages. A “heavy workload� can now be objectively defined.


Not Applicable / None Entered.


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