Quality indicators in radiation oncology: proposal of the Spanish Society of Radiation Oncology (SEOR) for a continuous improvement of the quality of care in oncology
Current cancer treatment options include surgical intervention, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. The quality of the provision of each of them and their effective coordination determines the results in terms of benefit/risk. Regarding the radiation oncology treatments, there are not stabilised quality indicators to be used to perform control and continuous improvement processes for healthcare services. Therefore, the Spanish Society of Radiation Oncology has undertaken a comprehensive project to establish quality indicators for use with the information systems available in most Spanish healthcare services.
A two-round Delphi study examines consensus of several possible quality indicators (n = 28) in daily practice. These indicators were defined after a bibliographic search and the assessment by radiation oncology specialists (n = 8). They included aspects regarding treatment equipment, patient preparation, treatment, and follow-up processes and were divided in structure, process, and outcome indicators.
After the evaluation of the defined quality indicators (n = 28) by an expert panel (38 radiation oncologist), 26 indicators achieved consensus in terms of agreement with the statement. Two quality indicators did not achieve consensus.
There is a high degree of consensus in Spanish Radiation Oncology specialists on which indicators in routine clinical practice can best measure quality. These indicators can be used to classify services based on several parameters (patients, equipments, complexity of the techniques used, and scientific research). Furthermore, these indicators allow assess our current situation and set improvements’ objectives.
KeywordsRadiation oncology Quality indicators Delphi Consensus Healthcare services
We thank all the participants in the Delphi study for helping to contribute to improve the situation of RO in Spain; the participant’s names and affiliations are listed in Appendix 1.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The Quality Indicators in Radiation Oncology is a scientific initiative by the Spanish Society of Radiation Oncology (SEOR). The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals.
For this type of study formal consent is not required.
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