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Physics Competency Program: The Foundation of Clinical Physics Quality Management

R Rodgers1,2*, K Homann1,2, M Price1,2, (1) School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, (2) Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN


(Sunday, 7/14/2019)  

Room: ePoster Forums

Purpose: Competency programs enhance the quality of medical physics practices and clinical training programs. Standardization of procedures avoids inconsistencies in quality management and maintains accreditation standards. An intra-departmental competency program was developed to partner medical physics trainees (MPT) with qualified medical physicists (QMP) to develop and refine procedures that reflect current practice, standardize enterprise equipment testing methods, increase consistency among physicists' clinical performance and develop trainee communication skills.

Methods: Forty (40) tasks identified as core clinical physics skill-sets were assigned to teams consisting of a QMP and MPT (i.e., resident or DMP candidate). Under preceptor direction, MPTs were assigned tasks to master and document for review. Following approval, the MPT presented procedure execution to department technical personnel. Per group discussion, policies were refined and incorporated into the finalized procedure. The MPT then performed the task for all QMPs and MPTs, each, in turn, demonstrating competency independently. The preceptor QMP submitted results to the Clinical Chief for documentation via an in-house website that (a) houses training presentations, (b) personnel competencies and (c) date of task completion to facilitate annual review.

Results: Within eight (8) months of program establishment, 25 modules have been completed by all QMPS and MPTs at the rate of 3-4 monthly. This approach facilitates quick review and acceptance of standardized procedures that reflect current clinical practice. Annual re-credentialing identifies lapses in QMP proficiencies in specific tasks, provides information to management for scheduling clinical coverage accordingly and supports an evolving, yet standardized, set of clinical procedures.

Conclusion: Implementation of the competency program has improved our quality management program for clinical practice and education programs. It inherently drives a comprehensive annual review of enterprise-wide procedures annually and re-certification of core skill-sets for QMPs and MPTs within our system.


Observer Performance, Performance Tests, Quality Assurance


Education: Knowledge

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