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Quality audits of radiotherapy centres in Latin America: a pilot experience of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Rosenblatt E, Zubizarreta E, Izewska J, Binia S, Garcia-Yip F, Jimenez P - Radiat Oncol (2015)

Bottom Line: Forty percent of audited institutions were immersed in a health system that did not recognize cancer as a public health priority problem.Three institutions did not perform gynaecological brachytherapy, and one installation delivered around 900 teletherapy treatments annually without simulation, planning or dosimetry equipment for that purpose.Follow-up visits conducted by the IAEA or by regional or local organizations are necessary in order to evaluate outcomes and sustainability of implemented recommendations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Applied Radiation Biology and Radiotherapy Section, Division of Human Health, International Atomic Energy Agency, Wagramerstrasse 5, PO Box 100, A-1400, Vienna, Austria. e.rosenblatt@iaea.org.

ABSTRACT

Background: In Latin America radiotherapy quality varies significantly among hospitals, where highly equipped academic centers coexist with others not meeting minimal requirements. In 2007, the International Atomic Energy Agency published guidelines for auditing radiotherapy centers, known as the "Quality Assurance Team for Radiation Oncology" (QUATRO) audits. The present report summarizes a pilot experience with QUATRO audits to 12 radiotherapy centres.

Methods: The findings from QUATRO audits conducted in 12 radiotherapy centres in Latin America between 2008 and 2013 were analysed. Events representing weaknesses or gaps in the process of radiotherapy were recorded. Relevant data for estimating human and technological needs of visited centres were processed. The main difficulties and strengths faced by institutions were also documented.

Results: All 12 radiotherapy centres were successfully audited following the QUATRO method. IAEA provided a dosimetry kit for quality control. Forty percent of audited institutions were immersed in a health system that did not recognize cancer as a public health priority problem. With few exceptions, local training programs for physicists and technologists were scarce and research was not an activity of interest among physicians. Centres were provided with sufficient staff to meet the local demand, both in the case of radiation oncologists, physicists and radiation therapists. Three centres lacking the minimum infrastructure were identified. Three institutions did not perform gynaecological brachytherapy, and one installation delivered around 900 teletherapy treatments annually without simulation, planning or dosimetry equipment for that purpose. Recommendations to centres were classified as related to personnel, infrastructure, processes and institutional organizational aspects. Many recommendations warned governments about the evident need for allocating more budgetary resources to radiotherapy. Most recommendations pointed out different aspects related to strengthen human resources training and technological support to the audited centres. Scheduled follow-up visits were also stressed.

Conclusion: The QUATRO audits proved to be a valuable tool for identifying weaknesses in infrastructure, human resources and procedures in radiotherapy centres. Follow-up visits conducted by the IAEA or by regional or local organizations are necessary in order to evaluate outcomes and sustainability of implemented recommendations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Recommendations to centres regarding staff. Numbers depict how many times a recommendation was found in the QUATRO reports. For example: the first row means that the different audit teams have recommended 11 times that all staff members should improve internal and external communications of audited centres
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Fig1: Recommendations to centres regarding staff. Numbers depict how many times a recommendation was found in the QUATRO reports. For example: the first row means that the different audit teams have recommended 11 times that all staff members should improve internal and external communications of audited centres

Mentions: Improving communication among internal staff, among radiation oncologists with practitioners from other hospital departments and between the audited institution and other organizations was the most frequent recommendation in this category. Improving training and encouraging professional development to workers in general, and technologists in particular, was also a common recommendation (Fig. 1).Fig. 1


Quality audits of radiotherapy centres in Latin America: a pilot experience of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Rosenblatt E, Zubizarreta E, Izewska J, Binia S, Garcia-Yip F, Jimenez P - Radiat Oncol (2015)

Recommendations to centres regarding staff. Numbers depict how many times a recommendation was found in the QUATRO reports. For example: the first row means that the different audit teams have recommended 11 times that all staff members should improve internal and external communications of audited centres
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4554300&req=5

Fig1: Recommendations to centres regarding staff. Numbers depict how many times a recommendation was found in the QUATRO reports. For example: the first row means that the different audit teams have recommended 11 times that all staff members should improve internal and external communications of audited centres
Mentions: Improving communication among internal staff, among radiation oncologists with practitioners from other hospital departments and between the audited institution and other organizations was the most frequent recommendation in this category. Improving training and encouraging professional development to workers in general, and technologists in particular, was also a common recommendation (Fig. 1).Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Forty percent of audited institutions were immersed in a health system that did not recognize cancer as a public health priority problem.Three institutions did not perform gynaecological brachytherapy, and one installation delivered around 900 teletherapy treatments annually without simulation, planning or dosimetry equipment for that purpose.Follow-up visits conducted by the IAEA or by regional or local organizations are necessary in order to evaluate outcomes and sustainability of implemented recommendations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Applied Radiation Biology and Radiotherapy Section, Division of Human Health, International Atomic Energy Agency, Wagramerstrasse 5, PO Box 100, A-1400, Vienna, Austria. e.rosenblatt@iaea.org.

ABSTRACT

Background: In Latin America radiotherapy quality varies significantly among hospitals, where highly equipped academic centers coexist with others not meeting minimal requirements. In 2007, the International Atomic Energy Agency published guidelines for auditing radiotherapy centers, known as the "Quality Assurance Team for Radiation Oncology" (QUATRO) audits. The present report summarizes a pilot experience with QUATRO audits to 12 radiotherapy centres.

Methods: The findings from QUATRO audits conducted in 12 radiotherapy centres in Latin America between 2008 and 2013 were analysed. Events representing weaknesses or gaps in the process of radiotherapy were recorded. Relevant data for estimating human and technological needs of visited centres were processed. The main difficulties and strengths faced by institutions were also documented.

Results: All 12 radiotherapy centres were successfully audited following the QUATRO method. IAEA provided a dosimetry kit for quality control. Forty percent of audited institutions were immersed in a health system that did not recognize cancer as a public health priority problem. With few exceptions, local training programs for physicists and technologists were scarce and research was not an activity of interest among physicians. Centres were provided with sufficient staff to meet the local demand, both in the case of radiation oncologists, physicists and radiation therapists. Three centres lacking the minimum infrastructure were identified. Three institutions did not perform gynaecological brachytherapy, and one installation delivered around 900 teletherapy treatments annually without simulation, planning or dosimetry equipment for that purpose. Recommendations to centres were classified as related to personnel, infrastructure, processes and institutional organizational aspects. Many recommendations warned governments about the evident need for allocating more budgetary resources to radiotherapy. Most recommendations pointed out different aspects related to strengthen human resources training and technological support to the audited centres. Scheduled follow-up visits were also stressed.

Conclusion: The QUATRO audits proved to be a valuable tool for identifying weaknesses in infrastructure, human resources and procedures in radiotherapy centres. Follow-up visits conducted by the IAEA or by regional or local organizations are necessary in order to evaluate outcomes and sustainability of implemented recommendations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus