Mark Rivard
Department of Radiation Oncology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

To facilitate the safe use and accurate delivery of brachytherapy, a Quality Management Program (QMP) should be devised to establish good clinical practice. A QMP mission could be that, “patients will be treated safely, accurately, and efficiently as defined by the prescription, regulations, and societal standards.” The QMP will incorporate departmental-specific issues like workflow, workload, and available resources. Elements of the QMP include training (initial and ongoing) of staff, preparation of policies and procedures, and establishment of quality controls, quality indicators, and quality assurances tests. Approaches to risk assessments may be top-down (e.g., fault-tree analysis) or bottom-up (e.g., failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis). The scope of QMP ranges from pre-purchase preparations and installation, acceptance testing of the equipment upon manufacturer delivery, commissioning of a clinical brachytherapy program, and the necessary on-going processes to ensure the safe use and accurate delivery of brachytherapy. The presentation will cover example errors in clinical brachytherapy with analyses performed to understand why the errors occurred and how to prevent them in the future.


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