Purpose: Traditional peer reviews occur weekly, and can take place up to 1 week after the start of treatment. The American Society for Radiation Oncology peer-review white paper identified stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) as a high priority for contour/plan review before the start of treatment, considering both the rapid-dose falloff and short treatment course. Yet, peer-review goals for SBRT must also balance physician time demands and the desire to avoid routine treatment delays that would occur in the setting of a 100% pretreatment (pre-Tx) review compliance requirement or prolonging the standard treatment planning timeline. Herein, we report on our pilot experience of a pre-Tx peer review of thoracic SBRT cases. Methods and Materials: From March 2020 to August 2021, patients undergoing thoracic SBRT were identified for pre-Tx review, and placed on a quality checklist. We implemented twice-weekly meetings for detailed pre-Tx review of organ-at-risk/target contours and dose constraints in the treatment planning system for SBRT cases. Our quality metric goal was to peer review ≥90% of SBRT cases before exceeding 25% of the dose delivered. We used a statistical process control chart with sigma limits (ie, standard deviations [SDs]) to access compliance rates with pre-Tx review implementation. Results: We identified 252 patients treated with SBRT to 294 lung nodules. When comparing pre-Tx review completion from initial rollout to full implementation, our rates improved from 19% to 79% (ie, from 1 sigma limit [SDs]) below to >2 sigma limits (SDs) above. Additionally, early completion of any form of contour/plan review (defined as any pre-Tx or standard review completed before exceeding 25% of the dose delivered) increased from 67% to 85% (March 2020-November 2020) to 76% to 94% (December 2020-August 2021). Conclusions: We successfully implemented a sustainable workflow for detailed pre-Tx contour/plan review for thoracic SBRT cases in the context of twice-weekly disease site-specific peer-review meetings. We reached our quality improvement objective to peer review ≥90% of SBRT cases before exceeding 25% of the dose delivered. This process was feasible to conduct in an integrated network of sites across our system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging