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Pract Radiat Oncol. 2013 Jul - Sep;3(3):149-156. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2012.11.010. Epub 2013 Mar 16.

Enhancing the role of case-oriented peer review to improve quality and safety in radiation oncology: Executive summary.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Electronic address: marks@med.unc.edu.
2
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
3
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.
4
Department of Radiation Oncology, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland.
5
USAF Surgeon General for Radiation Oncology, Travis Air Force Base, California.
6
Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology, Queen's Cancer Research Institute, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
7
Department of Radiation Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

Abstract

This report is part of a series of white papers commissioned for the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Board of Directors as part of ASTRO's Target Safely Campaign, focusing on the role of peer review as an important component of a broad safety/quality assurance (QA) program. Peer review is one of the most effective means for assuring the quality of qualitative, and potentially controversial, patient-specific decisions in radiation oncology. This report summarizes many of the areas throughout radiation therapy that may benefit from the application of peer review. Each radiation oncology facility should evaluate the issues raised and develop improved ways to apply the concept of peer review to its individual process and workflow. This might consist of a daily multidisciplinary (eg, physicians, dosimetrists, physicists, therapists) meeting to review patients being considered for, or undergoing planning for, radiation therapy (eg, intention to treat and target delineation), as well as meetings to review patients already under treatment (eg, adequacy of image guidance). This report is intended to clarify and broaden the understanding of radiation oncology professionals regarding the meaning, roles, benefits, and targets for peer review as a routine quality assurance tool. It is hoped that this work will be a catalyst for further investigation, development, and study of the efficacy of peer review techniques and how these efforts can help improve the safety and quality of our treatments.

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