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Two-step decision tree analysis helps inform updates of RT best practices, quality standards
Date:7/28/2014

Fairfax, Va., July 28, 2014A two-step decision tree analysis, incorporating Donabedian's model, is a feasible process to evaluate and distill the many available quality standards, guidelines, recommendations and indicators in order to update national and international quality standards for radiation therapy, according to a study published in the July-August 2014 issue of Practical Radiation Oncology (PRO), the official clinical practice journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Guidelines, recommendations and indicators may be utilized to develop new "best practice" standards through a formal consensus process and evaluation of the evidence base. The appropriate requirements and criteria for redeveloped standards, however, are not as well defined. This study, "Quality standards in radiation medicine," was designed to identify and validate an appropriate approach to collate, catalogue and analyze existing quality standards. A two-step decision tree method allows for the organization of numerous different standards issued by a range of national and international organizations and identifies duplicate standards as well as gaps in the standards.

Quality-related documents were identified using Google Scholar and Discover and three selection criteria: 1) national or international; 2) contain statements or questions related to measuring quality in a broad sense in radiation medicine programs; and 3) written in English. Technical quality control standards were not included in this analysis. From this analysis, eight publicly available documents were used to identify 454 radiation therapy quality standards or groups of standards. Each of the five study authors completed two exercises to categorize the 454 identified standards to Donabedian's structure, process or outcome, and also to the target of the standard: patients, staff, equipment or clinical process, or organization, for a total of 12 primary categories.


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Contact: Michelle Kirkwood
press@astro.org
703-286-1600
American Society for Radiation Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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