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Team Physics Huddle: Redefining Team Work and Communication in Radiation Therapy Physics

R Gutti

R Gutti*, S Oddiraju , Baylor Scott and White Clinics, Temple, TX


SU-I-GPD-T-221 (Sunday, July 30, 2017) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Implementation of effective methods in Radiation therapy processes towards development of lean culture is important and is becoming necessary with increasing complexity in processes and equipment. Most radiation therapy processes are complex and requires the involvement of different teams like nursing, clinicians, dosimetrists, physicists and therapists. As a part of our organizational culture to improve our processes, our goal is to identify and resolve issues within our processes on a daily and weekly basis.

Methods: Radiation oncology Physics team huddle is our platform to discuss and address issues or safety constraints in the processes encountered and new ideas in our workflow processes. One representative from each group will bring the issues and concerns in the processes to the huddle. Teams are formed to address specific issues or implement ideas. Data collected was analyzed by the team and the process issues identified were resolved.

Results: 1) A reduction from five missing weekly chart checks to zero was achieved through implementation of process change from huddle analysis, and that stayed consistent. 2) Treatment re-plans are tracked on a weekly basis. ‘A3 Systematic problem solving’ method was employed to analyze the cause for re-plans and found the leading reasons to be ‘changes in PTV’ and ‘planning issues caught during physics initial chart check’. As a result, standard workflow changes were made e.g. peer review of PTV contours, dose tracking points, collision checks for lateral isocenters, etc.

Conclusion: Physics team huddle’s successfully improved various processes that helped in building team morale, avoided potential missed charges from weekly chart checks, and helped improve communication for a more engaged team. Prospective planning and allocation of resources (equipment and personnel) for QA processes, special treatment cases was made easier. Huddle helps in continuous data collection and tracking that can be used to streamline all the processes.

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