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Title: SU-F-P-33: Combining Research and Professional Practice in the Clinical Setting: A Medical Physicist Personal Experience

Abstract

Purpose: To initiate a discussion on the current and evolving role of Medical Physicists based on author’s professional and research experience in patient safety and quality control. Methods: Several professionals of the departments of Medical Physics and Radiation Oncology, chiefly devoted to clinical tasks, began a research program on patient safety and quality control in a framework provided by the implementation of intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT). We performed studies on virtual simulation for IORT, in vivo dosimetry, failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA), statistical process control (SPC), and receiver operating characteristics of dosimetric equipment. This was done with the support of our research foundation and different grants while continuing with our departmental clinical routine involving about 1600 annual treatments with two linacs and different brachytherapy techniques. Results: We published 5 papers in international journals in the last two years. This author conducted a doctoral research which resulted in a dissertation in 2015. The extra time spent after treatments was essential to succeed. Funding and support achieved via our foundation played a crucial role; but this would have not been possible without punctual external mentoring and partnership. FMEA conclusions were able to be implemented only with staff commitment; however, conclusions concerning equipmentmore » cannot be easily communicated to manufacturers. These tasks required extra training in the appropriated methods. Conclusion: Research needed the support of a dedicated foundation, which would have been very difficult to obtain with the sole participation of our departments. FMEA and SPC results may need engagement of staff and manufacturers, respectively, hard to achieve without strong recommendations or even a regulatory framework. All these fields need evolution of Medical Physicists’ roles and additional training. Devotion to both clinical tasks and research could be unfeasible for Medical Physicists in the clinical setting without the appropriate rearrangement of their schedules and tasks. Supported by grants IPT-300000-2010-3 and PI11/01659. ERDF funds and Spanish Government.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Consorcio Hospitalario Provincial de Castello, Castello de la Plana (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22624472
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2016 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; 61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; BRACHYTHERAPY; DOSIMETRY; EQUIPMENT; FAILURES; FINANCING; IMPLEMENTATION; IN VIVO; LINEAR ACCELERATORS; PATIENTS; PROCESS CONTROL; QUALITY CONTROL; RECOMMENDATIONS; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; SAFETY; TRAINING

Citation Formats

Lopez-Tarjuelo, J. SU-F-P-33: Combining Research and Professional Practice in the Clinical Setting: A Medical Physicist Personal Experience. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4955740.
Lopez-Tarjuelo, J. SU-F-P-33: Combining Research and Professional Practice in the Clinical Setting: A Medical Physicist Personal Experience. United States. doi:10.1118/1.4955740.
Lopez-Tarjuelo, J. 2016. "SU-F-P-33: Combining Research and Professional Practice in the Clinical Setting: A Medical Physicist Personal Experience". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4955740.
@article{osti_22624472,
title = {SU-F-P-33: Combining Research and Professional Practice in the Clinical Setting: A Medical Physicist Personal Experience},
author = {Lopez-Tarjuelo, J},
abstractNote = {Purpose: To initiate a discussion on the current and evolving role of Medical Physicists based on author’s professional and research experience in patient safety and quality control. Methods: Several professionals of the departments of Medical Physics and Radiation Oncology, chiefly devoted to clinical tasks, began a research program on patient safety and quality control in a framework provided by the implementation of intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT). We performed studies on virtual simulation for IORT, in vivo dosimetry, failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA), statistical process control (SPC), and receiver operating characteristics of dosimetric equipment. This was done with the support of our research foundation and different grants while continuing with our departmental clinical routine involving about 1600 annual treatments with two linacs and different brachytherapy techniques. Results: We published 5 papers in international journals in the last two years. This author conducted a doctoral research which resulted in a dissertation in 2015. The extra time spent after treatments was essential to succeed. Funding and support achieved via our foundation played a crucial role; but this would have not been possible without punctual external mentoring and partnership. FMEA conclusions were able to be implemented only with staff commitment; however, conclusions concerning equipment cannot be easily communicated to manufacturers. These tasks required extra training in the appropriated methods. Conclusion: Research needed the support of a dedicated foundation, which would have been very difficult to obtain with the sole participation of our departments. FMEA and SPC results may need engagement of staff and manufacturers, respectively, hard to achieve without strong recommendations or even a regulatory framework. All these fields need evolution of Medical Physicists’ roles and additional training. Devotion to both clinical tasks and research could be unfeasible for Medical Physicists in the clinical setting without the appropriate rearrangement of their schedules and tasks. Supported by grants IPT-300000-2010-3 and PI11/01659. ERDF funds and Spanish Government.},
doi = {10.1118/1.4955740},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 6,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 6
}
  • Purpose: Several institutions have developed MRI guidelines for patients with MR-unsafe or MR-conditional pacemakers. Here we highlight the role of a medical physicist in implementing these guidelines for non-pacemaker dependent patients. Guidelines: Implementing these guidelines requires involvement from several medical specialties and a strong collaboration with the site MRI supervisor to develop a structured workflow. A medical physicist is required to be present during the scan to supervise the MR scanning and to maintain a safety checklist that ensures: 1) uninterrupted patient communication with the technologist, 2) continuous patient physiologic monitoring (e.g. blood pressure and electrocardiography) by a trained nurse,more » 3) redundant patient vitals monitoring (e.g. pulse oximetry) due to the possibility of in vivo electrocardiography reading fluctuations during image acquisition. A radiologist is strongly recommended to be available to review the images before patients are discharged from the scanner. Pacemaker MRI should be restricted to 1.5T field strength. The MRI sequences should be optimized by the physicist with regards to: a) SAR: limited to <1.5 W/Kg for MR-unsafe pacemakers in normal operating mode, b) RF exposure time: <30 min, c) Coils: use T/R coils but not restricted to such, d) Artifacts: further optimization of sequences whenever image quality is compromised due to the pacemaker. In particular, cardiac, breast and left-shoulder MRIs are most susceptible to these artifacts. Possible strategies to lower the SAR include: a) BW reduction, 2) echo-train-length reduction, 3) increase TR, 4) decrease number of averages, 5) decrease flip angle, 6) reduce slices and/or a combination of all the options. Conclusion: A medical physicist in collaboration with the MR supervisor plays an important role in the supervision/implementation of safe MR scanning of pacemaker patients. Developing and establishing a workflow has enabled our institution to scan over 30 patients with pacemakers without complications, including 3 cardiac MR exams.« less
  • The concept of peer review for radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists has been studied very little in radiation oncology practice. The purpose of this manuscript is to analyze the concept of peer review in the clinical setting for both radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists. The literature reviewed both the percentages and causes of radiation therapy deviations. The results indicate that peer review can be both implemented and evaluated into both the radiation therapist and medical dosimetrist clinical practice patterns.