Purpose: The quality of any medical treatment depends on the accurate processing of multiple complex components of information, with proper delivery to the patient. This is true for radiation oncology, in which treatment delivery is as complex as a surgical procedure but more dependent on hardware and software technology. Uncorrected errors, even if small or infrequent, can result in catastrophic consequences for the patient. We developed electronic checklists (ECLs) within the oncology electronic medical record (EMR) and evaluated their use and report on our initial clinical experience. Methods: Using the Mosaiq EMR, we developed checklists within the clinical assessment section. These checklists are based on the process flow of information from one group to another within the clinic and enable the processing, confirmation, and documentation of relevant patient information before the delivery of radiation therapy. The clinical use of the ECL was documented by means of a customized report. Results: Use of ECL has reduced the number of times that physicians were called to the treatment unit. In particular, the ECL has ensured that therapists have a better understanding of the treatment plan before the initiation of treatment. An evaluation of ECL compliance showed that, with additional staff training, > 94% of the records were completed. Conclusion: The ECL can be used to ensure standardization of procedures and documentation that the pretreatment checks have been performed before patient treatment. We believe that the implementation of ECLs will improve patient safety and reduce the likelihood of treatment errors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy