Encrypted login | home

Program Information

Improving Plan Quality with Automation of Treatment Plan Checks

E Covington

E Covington1*, K Younge1 , X Chen1 , C Lee1 , M Matuszak1 , M Kessler1 , E Acosta1 , W Keranen2 , A Orow1 , S Filpansick1 , J Moran1 , (1) University of Michigan Hospital and Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, (2) Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, California


SU-D-BRD-3 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 2:05 PM - 3:00 PM Room: Ballroom D


To evaluate the effectiveness of an automated plan check tool to improve first-time plan quality as well as standardize and document performance of physics plan checks.


The Plan Checker Tool (PCT) uses the Eclipse Scripting API to check and compare data from the treatment planning system (TPS) and treatment management system (TMS). PCT was created to improve first-time plan quality, reduce patient delays, increase efficiency of our electronic workflow, and to standardize and partially automate plan checks in the TPS. A framework was developed which can be configured with different reference values and types of checks. One example is the prescribed dose check where PCT flags the user when the planned dose and the prescribed dose disagree. PCT includes a comprehensive checklist of automated and manual checks that are documented when performed by the user. A PDF report is created and automatically uploaded into the TMS. Prior to and during PCT development, errors caught during plan checks and also patient delays were tracked in order to prioritize which checks should be automated. The most common and significant errors were determined.


Nineteen of 33 checklist items were automated with data extracted with the PCT. These include checks for prescription, reference point and machine scheduling errors which are three of the top six causes of patient delays related to physics and dosimetry. Since the clinical roll-out, no delays have been due to errors that are automatically flagged by the PCT. Development continues to automate the remaining checks.


With PCT, 57% of the physics plan checklist has been partially or fully automated. Treatment delays have declined since release of the PCT for clinical use. By tracking delays and errors, we have been able to measure the effectiveness of automating checks and are using this information to prioritize future development.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: This project was supported in part by P01CA059827.

Contact Email: