In the article by Tammy Worth “New Plans Focusing on Radiation Quality, Safety”, the innovative and more effective plan which aims at improving quality and safety of the radiation therapy is introduced by the American Society for Radiation Oncology.
The plan is a response to the safety notification by the Food and Drug Administration which was issued in October, 2009. This notification was made after 206 patients from California received eight times more radiation than it is allowed. Since that time, the Food and Drug Administration has been working on decreasing the unneeded radiation doses which can cause serious problems for a human being, such as cancer.
The main goal of the plan is to ensure staffing that meets the demands of modern sophisticated equipment, as the president of the Society and also a professor of oncology and radiology pointed out. The plan has six steps.
The first step is to form a database to report radiology errors. Unfortunately, there is no a single clearinghouse yet.
The next step is to accredit all medical institutions.
Third is to expand training and education to ensure inclusion of maintenance certification that will provide for better safety.
The next is to promote patient advocacy which will help patients to understand safety issues better.
The fifth step is to improve information transfer between various medical equipment. The plan also supports a bill of 2007 that calls for better training before using the equipment in the fields of medical imaging and radiation therapy, which is the sixth step.
The president also shared that the importance of nurses in the field id vital and that the physicians should pay better attention to them.
Not all people believe in the effectiveness of this plan. Peter Pronovost stated that any encouragement to be more careful would lead to no success at all. He envisions the effective way to solve the problem in the better equipment which will exclude the probability of the mistakes in general. For promotion of patient safety, he offered to form public-private partnerships (Worth, 2010).
Radiation therapy – the treatment of disease, especially cancer, using X-rays or similar forms of radiation.
ASTRO – American Society for Radiation Oncology deals with a wide range of the medical problems in the field of radiation oncology. They give physicians guidance which allows patients to obtain the best care possible. ASTRO is highly concerned with safety of the patients and radiation oncologists including safety practices into all of their procedures.
Maintenance certification is a constant process that keeps up the certification of physicians up-to-date with the help of one out of 24 approved boards on medical specialty of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
FDA – The Food and Drug Administration is responsible to protect people’s health by advocating safety, security, and efficacy of veterinary and human drugs, medical devices, biological products, and food supplies of our nation, including cosmetics and those products which emit radiation.
Computed tomographic perfusion scanning allows a rapid quantitative and qualitative evaluation of cerebral perfusion by creating maps of the cerebral blood volume, cerebral blood flow, and mean transit time.
Patient advocacy is a specialization in health care which deals with the education of patients about the application of health plans and how to receive needed care.
Radiation error is usually the improper dose of radiation exerted on human body in medical purposes.
Medical imaging is the process and technique of creation images for the person’s body for medical purposes or medical science.
Radiology – the science which deals with X-rays and many other high-energy radiation, especially the application of such radiation to diagnose and treat various serious diseases.
Oncology is the study and treatment of various tumors.
Since my experience in working as a radiologist, I find this article quite interesting as it shows certain traces of development of the radiation therapy. Radiation errors are very dangerous, however, they happen quite frequently due to the inability sometimes to determine the exact dose of the radiation on certain area in human body. The practice by the American Society for Radiation Oncology allows radiologists to ensure a better treatment of the patients decreasing the number of harmful side-effects and even lethal cases.
The main impact of the article “New Plans Focusing on Radiation Quality, Safety” on my career I see in the need to improve my qualifications when dealing with newer equipment and applying up-to-date methods to provide my patients with the best care possible.