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Radiation Therapy Intelligent Simulation Design: Innovative Training Methodology to Increase Pt Safety

Course Details

CEUs: 1.0

Available Until: 10/31/2019

Non-Member Price: $35.00

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Presented by Robert D. Adams, EdD, MPH, FAAMD, FASRT, CMD
Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina Department of Radiation Oncology

Recorded 9/19/18

Radiation therapy planning is high workload in an interactively complex system. Acknowledging limitations of our cognitive abilities suggests us to be mindful of potential risks of failure. Innovation is a key component when developing radiation therapy clinical practice safety initiatives. The University of North Carolina Radiation Therapy Human Factors Engineering Division is developing intelligent design models for simulation based training. Motivation for these studies include recent Federal Drug and Administration hearings on radiation therapy patient safety coupled with a national error rate of 5%, and 1 out of 10,000 patients part of a 'serious error'. The developed studies utilized NASA TLX methodology, which is used in astronaut training, SMI eye tracking glasses, and Brain Vision to measure neurological affects. Each radiation therapy participant (radiation oncologists, medical physicists, medical dosimetrists, radiation therapists) were evaluated for both workload and performance metrics, coupled with error prevention. Results of these studies indicated improvement in procedural compliance, improved training techniques, emphasis on safety mindfulness, and creation of various development and debriefing protocols. In this talk, additional future intelligent design training initiatives coupled with emerging emulator intelligent design will also be discussed.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Comprend the concept of intelligent simulation design and implementation.
  2. Understand the motivation for the emerging use of intelligent design in training.
  3. Comprehend the studies and results of the NASA TLX study models.
  4. Summarize how intelligent design simulation based training can improve patient safety metrics.
  5. Conceptualize future initiatives for emulator based intelligent design in radiation oncology.



Dr. Robert Adams received his master’s degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University. In addition, he is certified in radiography, radiation therapy, and medical dosimetry. He currently is an assistant professor in the University of North Carolina Department of Radiation Oncology and the newly developed University of North Carolina Division of Human Factors Engineering. He is a Fellow in both the ASRT and AAMD.

Dr Adams has delivered 72 international and national talks for continuing professional education, published 63 peer review journal articles, had 42 abstracts accepted for professional meetings, written 12 book chapters, and has one co-authored book published on ‘Engineering Patient Safety in Radiation Oncology’. He has served on the Editorial Review Boards of the ASRT Journal ‘Radiation Therapist’, The Journal ‘Medical Dosimetry’, ‘The Canadian Journal of Medical Imaging in Radiologic Sciences’, and ASTRO’s APEx development board; additionally he served on the Board of Directors of the Medical Dosimetry Certification Board. He has had three funded federal research grants as the primary investigator, and is currently part of three additional research grants.