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School of Medicine
Our specialists lead the way to create
safety standards in the radiation oncology
The safety and well being of our patients and their families are always the primary concern of every member of the Radiation Oncology team. We have developed a comprehensive safety program that is truly unique to Johns Hopkins. Not only do we employ the equipment and treatment quality assurance protocols required by the industry and the State of Maryland, we also integrate innovative safety techniques developed at Johns Hopkins such as checklists, time-out procedures, case reviews, and other steps that ensure the highest possible level of safety.
Johns Hopkins Radiation Oncology leads the country in its safety efforts through:
National leadership: The members of our clinical and research team are leaders in the national effort to create safety standards in the radiation oncology field. With colleagues from other well-respected medical institutions, they are leading initiatives aimed at making radiation treatments and therapies as safe for the patients as they can possibly be.
Quality control: Through their leadership, our staff has access to the latest findings and best practices, which we put into practice in our department. Specific quality control steps include:
- Rigorous double checks of every plan prior to the start of treatment by the radiation oncologist, a qualified medical physicist, and a certified radiation therapy technologist
- Peer review of every treatment plan
- Independent verification of the delivered dose in each plan
- Regular x-ray or CT imaging to verify the location of the radiation beams
- Time-out verification steps prior to treatment
Safety committee: A dedicated safety committee actively reviews and studies our clinical processes to ensure that our patients receive the safest and most efficient treatment plans. The committee’s findings are then used to educate staff and implement improvements.
Research: Our researchers are currently studying the use of task/step checklists to ensure that treatment plans and safety measures are followed. They also examine which safety measures are most effective, constantly improving our safety practices.