A rigorous program of continuous equipment testing, treatment monitoring, and independent review ensures the safety of our patients. Our department is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR), which provides a third-party, impartial peer review and evaluation of patient care. Before granting accreditation, the ACR assesses quality and safety of patient care, documentation of policies and procedures, equipment maintenance, and treatment planning records.
Radiation oncologists, technicians, physicists, and equipment specialists perform safety checks at every step of the treatment process — from the day radiotherapy machines are installed to the planning and delivery of each treatment.
These checks ensure radiation therapy treatments are appropriate and customized for each patient. They provide an opportunity to review every patient's treatment plan and make modifications as necessary. Plus, they create an environment where safety — and its improvement — is an intrinsic part of treatment.
We maintain a quality assurance system for reporting adverse events and near misses that meets and exceeds national standards. All such events are reviewed by the department’s Quality Improvement Committee and are reported to the hospital safety committees and state regulators when appropriate. Such incidents may trigger a Root Cause Analysis, in which specialists investigate the causes of the problem and formulate plans to prevent it in the future. Our safety record is well documented and very good, but we constantly strive to improve.
The Department of Public Health’s Radiation Control Program requires reporting of mistreatments that meet a variety of criteria. These include treating the incorrect patient, the incorrect site, using the incorrect modality, or treatments that deviate from the specifications of the planned treatment. The criteria for these "misadministrations" are detailed in the program’s regulation CMR 120.435.
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