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Open Access Web-Based Peer-To-Peer Training and Education in Radiotherapy

T Pawlicki

T Pawlicki1*, D Brown2 , P Dunscombe3 , S Mutic4 , (1) UC San Diego Medical Center, La Jolla, CA, (2) Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, AB, (3) Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, AB, (4) Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO


MO-E-18C-1 Monday 1:45PM - 3:45PM Room: 18C

Purpose: Current training and education delivery models have limitations which result in gaps in clinical proficiency with equipment, procedures, and techniques. Educational and training opportunities offered by vendors and professional societies are by their nature not available at point of need or for the life of clinical systems. The objective of this work is to leverage modern communications technology to provide peer-to-peer training and education for radiotherapy professionals, in the clinic and on demand, as they undertake their clinical duties.

Methods: We have developed a free of charge web site (https://i.treatsafely.org) using the Google App Engine and datastore (NDB, GQL), Python with AJAX-RPC, and Javascript. The site is a radiotherapy-specific hosting service to which user-created videos illustrating clinical or physics processes and other relevant educational material can be uploaded. Efficient navigation to the material of interest is provided through several RT specific search tools and videos can be scored by users, thus providing comprehensive peer review of the site content. The site also supports multilingual narration\translation of videos, a quiz function for competence assessment and a library function allowing groups or institutions to define their standard operating procedures based on the video content.

Results: The website went live in August 2013 and currently has over 680 registered users from 55 countries; 27.2% from the United States, 9.8% from India, 8.3% from the United Kingdom, 7.3% from Brazil, and 47.5% from other countries. The users include physicists (57.4%), Oncologists (12.5%), therapists (8.2%) and dosimetrists (4.8%). There are 75 videos to date including English, Portuguese, Mandarin, and Thai.

Conclusion: Based on the initial acceptance of the site, we conclude that this open access web-based peer-to-peer tool is fulfilling an important need in radiotherapy training and education. Site functionality should expand in the future to include document sharing and continuing education credits.

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