eISSN: 1897-4309
ISSN: 1428-2526
Contemporary Oncology/Współczesna Onkologia
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1/2012
vol. 16
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Clinical quality standards for radiotherapy

Marta Bogusz-Czerniewicz

Wspolczesna Onkol 2012; 16 (1): 44–52
Online publish date: 2012/02/29
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Aim of the study : The technological progress that is currently being witnessed in the areas of diagnostic imaging, treatment planning systems and therapeutic equipment has caused radiotherapy to become a high-tech and interdisciplinary domain involving staff of various backgrounds. This allows steady improvement in therapy results, but at the same time makes the diagnostic, imaging and therapeutic processes more complex and complicated, requiring every stage of those processes to be planned, organized, controlled and improved so as to assure high quality of services provided. The aim of this paper is to present clinical quality standards for radiotherapy as developed by the author.

Material and methods : In order to develop the quality standards, a comparative analysis was performed between European and Polish legal acts adopted in the period of 1980-2006 and the universal industrial ISO 9001:2008 standard, defining requirements for quality management systems, and relevant articles published in 1984-2009 were reviewed, including applicable guidelines and recommendations of American, international, European and Polish bodies, such as the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), the European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology (ESTRO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) on quality assurance and management in radiotherapy.

Results : As a result, 352 quality standards for radiotherapy were developed and categorized into the following three groups: 1 – organizational standards; 2 – physico-technical standards and 3 – clinical standards.

Conclusion : Proposed clinical quality standards for radiotherapy can be used by any institution using ionizing radiation for medical purposes. However, standards are of value only if they are implemented, reviewed, audited and improved, and if there is a clear mechanism in place to monitor and address failure to meet agreed standards.
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