Room: AAPM ePoster Library
Purpose: Integration of the planning, delivery and recording of external beam treatments has been a major factor toward increased efficiency, flexibility and safety for clinics. In contrast, brachytherapy is often more labor intensive and still consists of a large number of manual, often number heavy steps, with very few integrated commercial solutions. In particular, LDR eyeplaque procedures involve a multitude of participants (Radiation Oncology, Eye surgeons, radioactive plaque supplier, and transport across the country) that makes departure from established workflows due to unforeseen circumstances unavoidable, increasing risk of errors and delays. Our approach uses an interactive check list to automate the many tasks performed by other software.
Methods: Case information is entered into our custom Excel workbook summary sheet. Another sheet contains a check list with interactive check boxes, many of which trigger macros that run Application Programming Interface (API) scripts. They automatically perform tasks such as sending email, creating a Varian BrachyVision plan and reporting calculation results, generating documentation for R&V systems, run secondary Monte-Carlo dose calculation and maintaining a database of all clinical cases.
Results: Our goal was to eliminate clinical but also reporting and paperwork errors, while allowing more flexibility to modify treatment plans as circumstances dictated. Our checklist approach has been used with 150 patients and eliminated clinical errors. Yet it is our automated checklist (90 patients) that really increased our efficiency and flexibility by reducing planning time/paperwork from 3h on average to less than 1h, with significantly less transcription errors.
Conclusion: Our approach relies on scripting the API of systems already in the clinic to achieve much greater integration when no alternatives exist. The use of an automated checklist for handling all aspects of eyeplaque treatments decreased all types of errors while increasing the workflow efficiency and our capacity to safely manage higher caseloads.