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New ASTRO white paper recommends peer review to increase quality assurance and safety
Date:3/21/2013

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has issued a new white paper, "Enhancing the role of case-oriented peer review to improve quality and safety in radiation oncology: Executive Summary," that recommends increased peer review within the radiation therapy treatment process and among members of the radiation oncology team in order to increase quality assurance and safety, according to the manuscript published as an article in press online in Practical Radiation Oncology (PRO), the official clinical practice journal of ASTRO. The executive summary and supplemental material are available online immediately as open-access articles (http://www.practicalradonc.org) and will be published in a 2013 print edition of PRO.

Commissioned by ASTRO's Board of Directors as part of ASTRO's Target Safely campaign, the white paper focuses on the vital role of patient-specific peer review throughout many areas within radiation therapy and how peer review related to professional decisions made by members of the radiation oncology team might improve patient safety and quality of care. The report details suggested targets for peer review throughout the evaluation, planning and treatment processes. Importantly, the report prioritizes the targets that are most likely to have a meaningful impact on patient outcome, e.g., the decision to include radiation as part of the multi-modality approach; imaging/immobilization technique; image segmentation; planning and optimization; plan preparation; and treatment set-up. The paper identifies the potential benefits of the peer review process and recommends methods to overcome possible barriers to peer review, particularly for small, single-provider centers, such as online virtual networking tools and other technologies and forums that provide opportunities for the "peer review-at-a-distance" paradigm.

"This white paper focuses on peer review for
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Contact: Michelle Kirkwood
press@astro.org
703-286-1600
American Society for Radiation Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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