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Patient safety highlights American Association of Physicists in Medicine
Date:7/15/2010

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10) Safety Science: Emergency off systems

PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 18, 2010) -- In all interactions with technology, rigorous safety standards are imperative. But so is practicality -- and sometimes the two aren't joined.

Physicists at the University of Alabama in Birmingham emphasize this point in their statistical study of Emergency Off Systems (EOS) procedures for computer-controlled linear accelerators that deliver radiation cancer treatments in hospitals. Some states require EOS of accelerators to be tested at exactly three-month intervals, to the calendar day. But the researchers' results show EOS tests performed on any day within the 3rd month after the last check pose no significant risk to patients. And it would certainly be more practical by reducing staff stress.

"A safety regulation can actually be counter productive when it creates a false feeling of security -- and also, because it diverts resources from other areas," explains Ivan Brezovich, PhD, director in the Division of Radiation Physics and the lead investigator on the study, which he and his colleagues are presenting today at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) in Philadelphia.

"Regulators need to consider both the short-term and extended-term impacts of a safety policy," Brezovich adds.

The presentation "Safety Considerations Concerning the Scheduling of Emergency Off Switch Tests" by I Brezovich and R Popple will be at 10:24 a.m. on Thursday, July 22, 2010 in Room 203 of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

ABSTRACT: http://www.aapm.org/meetings/amos2/pdf/49-13500-88849-73.pdf


11) New Data Management System Helps Promote Patient Safety

PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 18, 2010) -- Every 2
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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@gmail.com
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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