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SROA Sidebar Blog

Sponsored Blog - Radformation: Automation-Assisted Workflows Maximize Clinical Efficiency
October 3, 2022
Posted by: Tyler Blackwell, MS, DABR

Sponsored Blog - Radformation: Automation-Assisted Workflows Maximize Clinical Efficiency

Managing a radiation oncology department is complex and requires managing many tasks in parallel: overseeing staff, implementing new technologies or treatment options, accreditation, inspections, financial reports, etc. How do radiation oncology administrators keep their departments running smoothly?  

Automation is key. Quickly becoming a clinical staple, automation enables departments to do more in less time, transforming workflows for better quality, safety, and efficiency. Providing staff members with the necessary automation tools is an easy way to ensure top-quality patient care.  

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Leader Standard Work: An Organizational Tool for Managing Your Work
September 1, 2022
Posted by: Maxine Washington

Leader Standard Work: An Organizational Tool for Managing Your Work

Leader Standard Work (LSW) is a tool that is being used more often in health care. LSW is one of the tools within Lean’s management system. It’s an effective tool for organizing one’s schedule, setting priorities and managing one’s time. The LSW concept is based on processes and achieving goals, supporting stainability and, to some degree, succession planning.  

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The Use of AI in Dosimetry
August 1, 2022
Posted by: Tammy McCausland

The Use of AI in Dosimetry

This blog post is adapted from “Is AI Reshaping the Medical Dosimetrist’s Role,” which was published in Radiation Oncology News for Administrators, Vol. 32 No. 2.

A 2020 Nature article says, “AI could have particularly transformative applications in radiation oncology given the multifaceted and highly technical nature of this field of medicine with a heavy reliance on digital data processing and computer software. . . . AI has the potential to improve the accuracy, precision, efficiency and overall quality of radiation therapy for patients with cancer.”1 Two medical dosimetrists share how they’re using AI and its implications for their profession and patient care.

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Hiring, Recruiting and Retention Strategies
June 1, 2022
Posted by: Tammy McCausland

Hiring, Recruiting and Retention Strategies

It’s well documented that the healthcare workforce has been hit hard by the pandemic. Burnout and stress have caused unprecedented rates of departure. At the same time, COVID-19 precipitated a time in which workers have greater opportunities to change jobs for more money, better benefits and more favorable work conditions.

Healthcare employers have to fill many vacancies and simultaneously retain current staff. In “Hiring staff during the great resignation,” Aine Cryts presents hiring strategies for front desk and medical assistant staff, administrative staff and clinical staff. One strategy is to post openings locally (such as through a relevant Facebook group). Other options include hiring people part-time and offering staff a flexible work schedule; both offer employers a chance to save money on health insurance and other benefits. The article also emphasizes the need to have pay rates for one’s specific market. Flexibility for all kinds of hires seems to be key.

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How to Tackle Healthcare Worker Burnout
May 2, 2022
Posted by: Tammy McCausland

How to Tackle Healthcare Worker Burnout

Renowned psychologist Christina Maslach, who created the Maslach Burnout Inventory, has remarked that even before the pandemic healthcare workers were at a higher risk for burnout. The pandemic has exacerbated the burnout problem as care providers and caretakers have struggled to keep pace.1 According a survey highlighted in a March 2022 HealthcareDive article, one-third of nurses plan to quit their jobs by the end of this year.2 Physician burnout increased from 42 percent in 2020 to 47 percent in 2021 according to the Medscape Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2022: Stress, Anxiety and Anger.3 The report notes that “Most physicians said that burnout permeates most aspects of their lives, with 54% indicating that the impact was strong to severe, including with their relationships.”3

Since the pandemic has worsened burnout and the coronavirus continues to stretch the country’s healthcare resources to their limits, how can healthcare leaders help their teams tackle burnout? We highlight several recent articles that offer suggestions.

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How to Tackle Medical Physicist Burnout
April 1, 2022
Posted by: Tammy McCausland

How to Tackle Medical Physicist Burnout

This article is adapted, in part, from an article that appeared in SROA’s publication, Radiation Oncology for Administrators (Vol 31 No 5).

Many medical physicists have shared their concerns with me about their overwhelming workloads and exhaustion. Debbie Schofield decided to explore the prevalence of burnout in the medical physicist community as part of her doctoral studies. She conducted a study about job-related attitudes and burnout in the medical physics profession.

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How to Help Radiation Oncology Patients Avoid Financial Toxicity
March 3, 2022
Posted by: Brenda Marie Palo and Tina Berry

How to Help Radiation Oncology Patients Avoid Financial Toxicity

This article is adapted, in part, from an article that appeared in SROA’s publication, Radiation Oncology for Administrators (Vol 31 No 5).

The National Cancer Institute describes financial toxicity as “problems a cancer patient has related to the cost of treatment.” Out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, deductibles and coinsurance not covered by health insurance, can cause patients financial distress. Financial hardship due to treatment can cause higher household debt, depletion of savings and even the need to seek bankruptcy protection. Financial issues affect patients’ emotional and physical well-being and their survival. Some patients may even have to delay or abandon treatment.

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Cancer Awareness Days
February 3, 2022
Posted by: Tammy McCausland

Cancer Awareness Days

There are more than 100 types of cancer. Cancers are usually named after the organs or tissues where they are located. Major cancers like breast, lung, prostate, colorectal, liver, cervical and ovarian cancer are more well-known because there are more diagnoses. We put together a list of important cancer awareness days that are recognized nationally and internationally each year. This list is comprehensive, but not exhaustive, so we apologize for any we’ve missed.

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Cancer Awareness Months
January 11, 2022
Posted by: Tammy McCausland

Cancer Awareness Months

Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected personally by cancer. In 2021, the American Cancer Society estimated there would be 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses in the U.S. and 608,570 cancer deaths. The National Cancer Institute reported that in 2020, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers accounted for an estimated 43 percent of all cancers diagnosed in men in 2020; breast, lung and colorectal accounted for an estimated 50 percent of all new cancer diagnoses in women.

We have put together a list of cancer awareness months

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Tailoring Radiotherapy Using GARD
December 14, 2021
Posted by: Tammy McCausland

Tailoring Radiotherapy Using GARD

Content in the blog post is adapted from an article published in Radiation Oncology News for Administrators Vol 31 No 4.

Genomic-adjusted radiation dose (GARD) shows great promise in helping clinicians tailor radiotherapy treatments for patients. SROA first published an article about GARD in 2017. A new study about GARD published in The Lancet Oncology “validates the association between GARD and radiation therapy outcome in a large cohort of patients, across seven different cancer types.” These cancers include cancers of the breast, head and neck, endometrium, melanoma, glioma, pancreas and lung (NSCLC).

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