Performance Metrics in Radiation Oncology: Benchmarking Practice and Future Planning

Amy S Harrison, Thomas Jefferson University


Over the last thirty years, the specialty field of radiation oncology (RO) has created evidence based guidelines for clinical care (Wilson & Owen, 2005). In the push towards quality and performance metrics, national measures for cardiac care, pneumonia, surgery, venous thromboembolic events (VTE), psychiatric services and children’s asthma have been developed (The Joint Commission, 2014), but RO has yet to create functional performance metrics related to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) aims of safety, timeliness and efficiency (IOM, 2001). This paper utilized a two-step process to establish the current status of departmental metrics and benchmarks in RO in order to advocate for the utility of having metrics built into existing electronic medical record functionalities. The first step was the generation of a national survey via classic Delphi methods, including a literature search of companion fields that have existing performance metrics, as well as expert opinion with survey consensus. This survey was distributed nationally to the American Association of Physicist (AAPM) and the Society of Radiation Oncology Administrators (SROA) full membership. Survey results were stratified by staffing levels, technology, academic practice and teaching institution. Quantitative analysis of results and comparisons between variables were evaluated using binary regression models. Results document the current baseline practice of performance metrics in RO; identified variations between institutions, team members, and existing common metrics; and highlighted areas of future focus.

Subject Area

Health sciences|Public health|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Harrison, Amy S, "Performance Metrics in Radiation Oncology: Benchmarking Practice and Future Planning" (2018). ETD Collection for Thomas Jefferson University. AAI10844406.