Ensuring safe and high quality radiation treatment
CPQR’s mandate is to support and promote the universal availability of high quality and safe radiotherapy for all Canadian’s through system performance initiatives aimed at improving quality and mitigating risk. While prioritizing concrete initiatives that support this mandate, CPQR has evolved to become a catalyst for quality and safety improvement within and beyond Canada.
CPQR continues to support and enhance core programs and works with partners to ensure long term sustainability. Our core programs are described below:
- Incident Reporting – Through partnership with the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) a National System for Incident Reporting – Radiation Treatment was launched in 2017. CPQR continues to support increased use of the system through engagement with provincial cancer agencies and local radiation treatment programs. Get more information.
- Programmatic Quality – Embedded into Accreditation Canada’s Cancer Care Standards in 2017 CPQR’s Quality Assurance Guidelines for Canadian Radiation Treatment Programs describe overarching organizational structures and processes required to assure high quality and safe radiotherapy. CPQR is working with the community to ensure this work continues to reflect best practice. Get more information.
- Technical Quality Control – Hardware and software specific tests included in this suite of technical quality control guidelines provide direction for assuring optimal performance. CPQR is working with the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP) to develop an online tool for local self-directed audits against the guidelines. Get more information.
In 2017 CPQR launched a set of “reach” priorities to assess the feasibility of further pushing quality initiatives at the local and national level. In 2019 CPQR and the Canadian Partnership for Quality Radiotherapy (CPAC) have agreed to an ambitious plan that further augments this work. These novel programs are described below:
- Access to Care: Advancing our understanding of variations in equity of access to radiation treatment by assessing utilization across provinces and validating previously developed utilization ratios using a more accurate linked incident-treatment method to help identify and reduce inequities for at risk populations. Get more information.
- Patient Reported Outcomes: Supporting the consistent use of patient reported outcomes (PRO) within specific disease sites for patients being treated with radiation therapy. Get more information.
- Canadian Big Radiation Treatment Data Initiative (CBRTDI): Supporting the use of common naming systems for radiation treatment prescribing and practice as a first step towards big data analysis. This work will help us measure variability, harmonize treatment practice and, when combined with PRO data, improving patient outcomes. Get more information.
Patients and their families are at the core of CPQR and its work. Building on Patient Education Guidelines for Canadian Radiation Treatment Programs and the CPQR endorsed Radiation Therapy Patient Charter developed by the Canadian Organization of Radiation Oncology (CARO) CPQR is developing a set of guidelines on patient education. It is also working with the community and partners to more fully integrate these important tools into radiation treatment programs and practice. Get more information.
Now more than ever, quality, safety, and system performance improvement play critical roles in radiation treatment planning and delivery, given the increasing complexity and rapid pace of technological change and innovation. In addition to the above priorities, CPQR commits to continually monitor the pan-Canadian and international landscapes, and to incorporate a “nimble” system that facilitates responsiveness to new and emerging opportunities.
CPQR work reflects a core set of quality, safety and system performance improvement priorities that align with the priorities of our founding partners, and the broader radiation treatment community. These priorities will be considered when establishing a map for future work.
Sustainability of existing and developing programs is grounded in a robust and continuous evaluation process. Specific measures will be incorporated into CPQR programs to ensure successful implementation in the short, mid, and long term.