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Author Lopez-Tarjuelo, J.
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES ♦ RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY ♦ BRACHYTHERAPY ♦ DOSIMETRY ♦ EQUIPMENT ♦ FAILURES ♦ FINANCING ♦ IMPLEMENTATION ♦ IN VIVO ♦ LINEAR ACCELERATORS ♦ PATIENTS ♦ PROCESS CONTROL ♦ QUALITY CONTROL ♦ RECOMMENDATIONS ♦ RESEARCH PROGRAMS ♦ SAFETY ♦ TRAINING
Abstract Purpose: To initiate a discussion on the current and evolving role of Medical Physicists based on author’s professional and research experience in patient safety and quality control. Methods: Several professionals of the departments of Medical Physics and Radiation Oncology, chiefly devoted to clinical tasks, began a research program on patient safety and quality control in a framework provided by the implementation of intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT). We performed studies on virtual simulation for IORT, in vivo dosimetry, failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA), statistical process control (SPC), and receiver operating characteristics of dosimetric equipment. This was done with the support of our research foundation and different grants while continuing with our departmental clinical routine involving about 1600 annual treatments with two linacs and different brachytherapy techniques. Results: We published 5 papers in international journals in the last two years. This author conducted a doctoral research which resulted in a dissertation in 2015. The extra time spent after treatments was essential to succeed. Funding and support achieved via our foundation played a crucial role; but this would have not been possible without punctual external mentoring and partnership. FMEA conclusions were able to be implemented only with staff commitment; however, conclusions concerning equipment cannot be easily communicated to manufacturers. These tasks required extra training in the appropriated methods. Conclusion: Research needed the support of a dedicated foundation, which would have been very difficult to obtain with the sole participation of our departments. FMEA and SPC results may need engagement of staff and manufacturers, respectively, hard to achieve without strong recommendations or even a regulatory framework. All these fields need evolution of Medical Physicists’ roles and additional training. Devotion to both clinical tasks and research could be unfeasible for Medical Physicists in the clinical setting without the appropriate rearrangement of their schedules and tasks. Supported by grants IPT-300000-2010-3 and PI11/01659. ERDF funds and Spanish Government.
ISSN 00942405
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2016-06-15
Publisher Place United States
Journal Medical Physics
Volume Number 43
Issue Number 6


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