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Development of staffing, workload and infrastructure in member departments of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) radiation oncology group


Willmann, Jonas; Poortmans, Philip; Monti, Angelo Fillipo; Grant, Warren; Clementel, Enrico; Corning, Coreen; Reynaert, Nick; Hurkmans, Coen W; Andratschke, Nicolaus (2021). Development of staffing, workload and infrastructure in member departments of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) radiation oncology group. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 155:226-231.

Abstract

Purpose
The EORTC Radiation Oncology Group uses a Facility Questionnaire (FQ) to collect information from its member radiation oncology departments. We analysed the FQ database for patient-related workload, staffing levels and infrastructure to determine developments in radiation oncology departments in the clinical trials community.

Materials & Methods
We exported the FQ database in August 2019. Departments were included if their FQ was created or updated within the two preceding years. Observations were compared with previous evaluations of the FQ database.

Results
In total, 161 departments from 24 mostly European countries were analysed. The average number of patients per department increased by 3.0% to 2,453 (2013: 2,381). The annual number of patients decreased by 7.4% to 225 per radiation oncologist (2013: 243) and by 7.9% to 326 per medical physicist (2013: 354). In contrast, the number of patients increased by 23.3% to 106 per radiation therapist (RTT) (2013: 86) and per treatment unit by 3.9 % to 485 (2013: 467). In a pairwise comparison of departments that were available in 2013 and 2019, the number of patients per radiation oncologist (p = 0.02) and per physicist (p = 0.0003) decreased significantly. The number of departments that own a dedicated PET-CT scanner more than doubled (2013: 4%; 2019: 9%) and the availability of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) increased by 31.8% to 85.7% of the departments (2013: 65%).

Conclusion
The case-related workload per radiation oncologist and per physicist continues to decrease but increases per RTT and treatment unit. This is likely driven by an increased use of complex techniques, multimodality imaging and the implementation of automation in radiation oncology departments.

Abstract

Purpose
The EORTC Radiation Oncology Group uses a Facility Questionnaire (FQ) to collect information from its member radiation oncology departments. We analysed the FQ database for patient-related workload, staffing levels and infrastructure to determine developments in radiation oncology departments in the clinical trials community.

Materials & Methods
We exported the FQ database in August 2019. Departments were included if their FQ was created or updated within the two preceding years. Observations were compared with previous evaluations of the FQ database.

Results
In total, 161 departments from 24 mostly European countries were analysed. The average number of patients per department increased by 3.0% to 2,453 (2013: 2,381). The annual number of patients decreased by 7.4% to 225 per radiation oncologist (2013: 243) and by 7.9% to 326 per medical physicist (2013: 354). In contrast, the number of patients increased by 23.3% to 106 per radiation therapist (RTT) (2013: 86) and per treatment unit by 3.9 % to 485 (2013: 467). In a pairwise comparison of departments that were available in 2013 and 2019, the number of patients per radiation oncologist (p = 0.02) and per physicist (p = 0.0003) decreased significantly. The number of departments that own a dedicated PET-CT scanner more than doubled (2013: 4%; 2019: 9%) and the availability of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) increased by 31.8% to 85.7% of the departments (2013: 65%).

Conclusion
The case-related workload per radiation oncologist and per physicist continues to decrease but increases per RTT and treatment unit. This is likely driven by an increased use of complex techniques, multimodality imaging and the implementation of automation in radiation oncology departments.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Radiation Oncology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Hematology
Health Sciences > Oncology
Health Sciences > Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging
Uncontrolled Keywords:Radiotherapy, Patient volume, Staffing Infrastructure, Workload, Quality assurance
Language:English
Date:1 February 2021
Deposited On:17 Dec 2020 11:43
Last Modified:28 Feb 2021 08:23
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-8140
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2020.11.009
PubMed ID:33217496

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