Radiotherapy requires the coordination of many individuals. The planner has to wait for the radiation oncologist to draw volumes. Others then wait for the planner who later waits again for the radiation oncologist's approval. Finally, therapists wait for physicists to perform the initial plan check and patient specific Quality Assurance. Often, the individuals involved also include members outside the radiation oncology department such as neurologists and ophthalmologists.

ArtAssist is the design, documentation, and ongoing improvement and adaptation of custom software that:

  • Generates an electronic white board that all members can consult based on data collected from the Record and Verify database, data parsed from documents uploaded into the Record and Verify database, and data inputted by the users.
  • Sends alerts (emails, texts, pages) indicating what needs to be done to the individuals that need to do it.
  • Logs timelines and facilitates analysis of these logs to identify sources of delay.

Communication in radiotherapy

  • The design of clear lines of communication among staff is considered a "key core component" of Quality Management programs, the absence of which significantly increases the likelihood that a large fraction of failure modes will actually occur1.
  • 42% of errors reported over a 10-year period at Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre were due to inadequate communication or inaccurate data transfer2.
  1. Huq, M. Saiful, et al. "The report of Task Group 100 of the AAPM: Application of risk analysis methods to radiation therapy quality management." Medical physics 43.7 (2016): 4209-4262.
  2. Yeung, Tai Keung, et al. "Quality assurance in radiotherapy: evaluation of errors and incidents recorded over a 10 year period." Radiotherapy and Oncology 74.3 (2005): 283-291.