Safety practices and opportunities for improvement in brachytherapy: A patient safety practices survey of the American Brachytherapy Society membership. Journal Article


Authors: Sanders, JC; Showalter, TN; Ouhib, Z; Thomadsen, BR; Jacob, D; Agarwal, M; Cohen, GN; Giles, M; Palaniswammy, G; Solanki, AA; Taunk, NK
Article Title: Safety practices and opportunities for improvement in brachytherapy: A patient safety practices survey of the American Brachytherapy Society membership.
Abstract: PURPOSE: Safe delivery of brachytherapy and establishing a safety culture are critical in high-quality brachytherapy. The American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) Quality and Safety Committee surveyed members regarding brachytherapy services offered, safety practices during treatment, quality assurance procedures, and needs to develop safety and training materials. METHODS AND MATERIALS: A 22-item survey was sent to ABS membership in early 2019 to physicians, physicists, therapists, nurses, and administrators. Participation was voluntary. Responses were summarized with descriptive statistics and relative frequency distributions. RESULTS: There were 103 unique responses. Approximately one in three was attending physicians and one in three attending physicists. Most were in practice >10 years. A total of 94% and 50% performed gynecologic and prostate brachytherapy, respectively. Ninety-one percent performed two-identification patient verification before treatment. Eighty-six percent performed a time-out. Ninety-five percent had an incident reporting or learning system, but only 71% regularly reviewed incidents. Half reviewed safety practices within the last year. Twenty percent reported they were somewhat or not satisfied with department safety culture, but 92% of respondents were interested in improving safety culture. Most reported time, communication, and staffing as barriers to improving safety. Most respondents desired safety-oriented webinars, self-assessment modules, learning modules, or checklists endorsed by the ABS to improve safety practice. CONCLUSIONS: Most but not all practices use standards and quality assurance procedures in line with society recommendations. There is a need to heighten safety culture at many departments and to shift resources (e.g., time or staffing) to improve safety practice. There is a desire for society guidance to improve brachytherapy safety practices. This is the first survey to assess safety practice patterns among a national sample of radiation oncologists with expertise in brachytherapy.
Journal Title: Brachytherapy
ISSN: 1873-1449; 1538-4721
Publisher: Elsevier Inc  
Date Published: 2020