For every cancer patient, the goal is to treat the disease in the safest and most effective way possible.
To meet this objective, ASTRO launched Target Safely in 2010. The plan focuses ASTRO’s resources on improving patient safety and reducing the chances of medical errors during radiation therapy treatments. Since the plan was established, ASTRO has made great strides in its Target Safely goals. The key elements of Target Safely include the following:
- Supporting the development of a national medical error reporting system and a patient safety database for radiation oncology.
- Testing the compatibility of different radiation oncology equipment vendors through an ASTRO-sponsored initiative dedicated to improving the integration of equipment used in radiation treatment (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise – Radiation Oncology).
- Strengthening radiation oncology practice accreditation with more robust and meaningful measures. ASTRO encourages all radiation oncology practices to participate.
- Advocating for passage of legislation to require licensing standards for personnel performing radiation treatments, known as the CARE Act.
- Providing cancer survivors, patient support groups and other medical organizations with a list of questions patients should ask physicians and cancer centers when considering radiation therapy as a treatment for their disease.
- Incorporating quality and safety educational content into ASTRO meetings to ensure attendees have the resources necessary to provide safe and effective patient care.