Improving Patient Safety in Radiotherapy

IAEA has a new tool available for radiotherapy patient safety. Safety in Radiation Oncology (SAFRON) is a web based user system for improving the safety and quality of patient care in radiation therapy by sharing knowledge about incidents and near incidents. SAFRON allows radiotherapy centres to contribute incidents and near misses to an international learning system, allowing the participating centres to share and receive information on incidents and near misses. By pooling information on the incidents, causality and corrective actions; radiotherapy facilities can develop a safety system that can prevent or reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring at their facility. For example, the treatment setup for a patient must be precise if the patient is to be treated in the correct area and given the correct dose. SAFRON has information on treatment setup errors, what caused the errors and what has been done to prevent the repeat of the errors. By reviewing this information, centres can learn from these mistakes and reduce the likelihood of the repeat of such errors. One solution might be to have a second independent verification of patient set up prior to treatment.

SAFRON is designed to be both a facility-based and an international-based error reporting system. Contributing institutions can review their own incidents and incidents that have been submitted by other participating centres. However the identifying information for other facilities remains anonymous. The anonymization of the facility information protects the contributor from punitive actions. The purpose is not to identify the reporting institution but to learn and let others learn from these errors. SAFRON is one of many tools the IAEA provides to the radiotherapy community in support of the safe and beneficial uses of radiation. Visit: or find us at the Radiation Protection of Patient website at http://rpop.iaea.organd look for the SAFRON icon.

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