Radiation Safety for Patients
Our Hallmarks: Training, Monitoring and Vigilance
is a proven and essential tool used to diagnose and treat illnesses and
injuries. All Lifespan's affiliated hospitals (Rhode Island Hospital and
its Hasbro Children's hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Bradley Hospital
and Newport Hospital) are licensed by the State of Rhode Island
Department of Health and follow strict Federal government regulations
regarding the use of radiation for health care and research.
Radiotherapy is a multifaceted practice that involves the active
involvement of several different clinical and technical specialists.
These include: radiation oncologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists,
radiation therapists, and nurses. A high level of professional expertise
is demanded when operating the variety of equipment in a safe and
effective manner. There are multiple steps involved in radiotherapy
treatments. Processes change frequently as a result of research findings
and the introduction of new, advanced technologies.
In order to stay current regarding use of radiotherapy treatments and
technologies and to offer our patients the best and safest treatments,
Lifespan's hospitals have invested in significant resources that support
the necessary staff and equipment. A Quality Management and Error
Prevention Program has been established to address the required multiple
human factor and technical components.
Key elements include:
A safety-conscious culture that makes the delivery of accurate
treatments the collective responsibility of all department
staff. It helps to ensure that policies and procedures for the
safe delivery of radiotherapy are in place.
Lifespan's hospitals adhere to national professional
association-approved procedures and guidelines for safe
implementation and ongoing utilization of existing, new and
Regular reviews are conducted to help ensure that treatment
protocols are up to date, and that staffing levels and skills
mix are appropriate for the numbers of patients treated and
complexity of treatments delivered.
Careful monitoring of work environments takes place to help
ensure that staff can administer radiation to patients without
Should the rare occurrence of radiotherapy errors occur, a
formal system for reporting and analyzing these treatment errors
or potential errors has been established. These topics, as well
as lessons learned, are discussed by staff in multi-disciplinary
A documented medical physics quality assurance program helps to
monitor that radiotherapy is delivered as intended and in
accordance with protocols, in order to maintain and continually
improve the quality of the service.
Comprehensive preparation before the introduction of new
equipment, processes or techniques is mandated. This includes a
thorough risk assessment, review of staffing levels and skills
required, and the acquisition of relevant physical measurements
Staff is required to undergo rigorous training in new equipment,
treatment techniques or processes prior to clinical use.
The Quality Management and Error Prevention Program in
Radiotherapy requires the maintenance of up-to-date training,
licensure and certification of all staff in conformance with
state and federally-mandated credentialing requirements.
Diagnostic Imaging Task Force
In addition to the Quality Management and Error Prevention Program in
Radiotherapy, a Lifespan task force has been convened to explore
diagnostic imaging at all affiliated hospitals. The Lifespan Diagnostic
Imaging Patient Care Oversight Committee has been established to take a
leadership role in examining opportunities to reduce radiation doses to
our patients to the extent possible or advisable.
We welcome you to submit
questions or concerns relating to the Quality Management and
Error Prevention Program in radiotherapy.