Room: Karl Dean Ballroom A1
Purpose: Radiation Treatment planning is a complex process and requires participants from different specialties. Workflow problems sometimes are difficult to detect and can cause frustration among patients and co-workers. Improving the efficiency of workflow potentially will reduce rushed cases or start delays and further improve patient satisfaction and safety.
Methods: In April 2016, our departmentâ€™s Lean Six Sigma team was formed to tackle the inefficiency of our planning workflow. An Electronic Whiteboard Program (EWP) was implemented in July 2016. All radiation treatment techniques were included. Eleven representative processes were designated as MOSAIQ Quality Check Lists (QCLs) for status tracking. These QCLs are completed by the staff when the corresponding planning processes are finished. The EWP periodically queries the MOSAIQ server to record and display progress. Collected data can be saved in MS Excel spreadsheets. We have developed some Visual Basic scripts to perform analytics and generate the statistics trending reports.
Results: After EWP implementation, real-time planning status became accessible anywhere in the department. The cases that fell behind schedule were flagged immediately on the color-coded whiteboard. Tremendous amount of useful data was collected for statistics, trending and problem solving. There is readily available access to statistics such as cases per treatment technique, body site, machine, dosimetrist and doctor. The timeline for any case can be plotted to investigate the root causes of the delay. The trend of ahead-of-schedule time shows an increase from 10 to 22 hours and the delayed-plan percentage dropped from 28% to 19% in the first 3 months.
Conclusion: Electronic Whiteboard Program is a convenient way to improve the treatment planning workflow. Our department has vastly benefited from the real-time whiteboard and retrospective analytics. For ongoing workflow improvement, we will continue to identify the bottlenecks and shorten overall planning time.