A New Delivery Model for Linear Accelerator Support and Service
J Hoisak*, T Pawlicki, G Kim, R Fletcher, K Moore, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CASU-E-P-5 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall
A new model of service and support has been developed between our institution and a linear accelerator vendor. Previously, a user would report machine breakdown events verbally by telephone to a dispatch center, which then coordinated repair actions with the technical helpdesk and local service engineer. In the new model, events are reported electronically directly to the vendor technical helpdesk, who can then contact the user immediately to coordinate a response. The purpose of this work is to report on a new model for vendor/institution collaboration to improve clinical operations.
We developed a new on-line event recording system that connected our clinic events directly to the linear accelerator vendor. Between February 2012 and 2013, our institutional electronic quality reporting database was reviewed. A machine down event was defined as a technical problem with the linear accelerator that interrupted, prevented, or required rescheduling or cancellation of patient treatments. Machine down time, vendor support response time, and whether the event was resolved by a service engineer visit or by physicists liaising with the technical helpdesk, were recorded.
Over 259 clinical days, there were 76 machine down events, with 45 before introduction of the new service model and 31 after. Under the new model, the average time for service response decreased by 92%, from 128 to 10 minutes and the number of times a service engineer had to be dispatched decreased by 70%. The down time per event decreased by 47% from 135 minutes to 71 minutes. Treatment cancellations or rescheduling decreased by 54%.
A new model of linear accelerator support and service delivery was implemented and was found to decrease vendor response time and reduce the number of on-site visits required by service engineers. These performance gains resulted in decreased machine downtime and decreased patient treatment cancellations.
Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: The work was undertaken in cooperation with Varian Medical Systems.