Electronic medical record?based radiation oncology toxicity recording instrument AIDS benchmarking and quality improvement in the clinic

Kevin Albuquerque, Kellie Rodgers, Ann Spangler, Asal Rahimi, Du Wayne Willett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose The on-treatment visit (OTV) for radiation oncology is essential for patient management. Radiation toxicities recorded during the OTV may be inconsistent because of the use of free text and the lack of treatment site–specific templates. We developed a radiation oncology toxicity recording instrument (ROTOX) in a health system electronic medical record (EMR). Our aims were to assess improvement in documentation of toxicities and to develop clinic toxicity benchmarks. Methods A ROTOX that was based on National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (version 4.0) with flow-sheet functionality was developed in the EMR. Improvement in documentation was assessed at various time intervals. High-grade toxicities (ie, grade $ 3 by CTCAE) by site were audited to develop benchmarks and to track nursing and physician actions taken in response to these. Results A random sample of OTV notes from each clinic physician before ROTOX implementation was reviewed and assigned a numerical document quality score (DQS) that was based on completeness and comprehensiveness of toxicity grading. The mean DQS improved from an initial level of 41% to 99% (of the maximum possible DQS) when resampled at 6 months post-ROTOX. This high-level DQS was maintained 3 years after ROTOX implementation at 96% of the maximum. For months 7 to 9 after implementation (during a 3-month period), toxicity grading was recorded in 4,443 OTVs for 698 unique patients; 107 episodes of high-grade toxicity were identified during this period, and toxicity-specific intervention was documented in 95%. Conclusion An EMR-based ROTOX enables consistent recording of treatment toxicity. In a uniform sample of patients, local population toxicity benchmarks can be developed, and clinic response can be tracked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e186-e193
JournalJournal of oncology practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy


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