Fifty-eighth annual meeting of the american association of physicists in medicine
SU-F-P-05: Initial Experience with an Independent Certification Program for Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
The ASTRO document “Safety is no accident: A FRAMEWORK FOR QUALITY RADIATION ONCOLOGY AND CARE” recommends external reviews of specialized modalities. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the implementation of such a program for Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Body radiation Therapy (SBRT).
The margin of error for SRS and SBRT delivery is significantly smaller than that of conventional radiotherapy and therefore requires special attention and diligence. The Novalis Certified program was created to fill an unmet need for specialized SRS / SBRT credentialing. A standards document was drafted by a panel of experts from several disciplines, including medical physics, radiation oncology and neurosurgery. The document, based on national and international standards, covers requirements in program structure, personnel, training, clinical application, technology, quality management, and patient and equipment QA. The credentialing process was modeled after existing certification programs and includes an institution-generated self-study, extensive document review and an onsite audit. Reviewers generate a descriptive report, which is reviewed by a multidisciplinary expert panel. Outcomes of the review may include mandatory requirements and optional recommendations.
15 institutions have received Novalis Certification, including 3 in the US, 7 in Europe, 4 in Australia and 1 in Asia. 87 other centers are at various stages of the process. Nine reviews have resulted in mandatory requirements, however all of these were addressed within three months of the audit report. All reviews have produced specific recommendations ranging from programmatic to technical in nature. Institutions felt that the credentialing process addressed a critical need and was highly valuable to the institution.
Novalis Certification is a unique peer review program assessing safety and quality in SRS and SBRT, while recognizing international practice standards. The approach is capable of highlighting outstanding requirements and providing recommendations to enhance both new and established programs.
Timothy Solberg is co-owner of Global Radiosurgery services, LLC