With over 90 radiation therapy centers in the United States, 100 medical physicists and a menagerie of treatment machines, ABOC faced a spectrum of workflow inefficiencies. If these snags persisted, they could compromise the quality of institution-wide QA. ABOC identified three needs that would help rectify these roadblocks.
1. Transition to solely EPID-based QA
2. Refine the organization and visibility of QA data across the organization
3. Unified data storage and reporting to help manage QA

After consulting with Standard Imaging, the two parties decided that PIPSpro QA Software would provide a cost-effective, clinically-vetted foundation to accomplish these objectives.

Transitioning to exclusively EPID-based QA
Time and cost inherently associated with radiographic film creates potholes in the road to efficient quality assurance. These hindrances prompted ABOC to migrate from film towards comprehensive EPID-based QA.

PIPSpro integrates EPIDs into a broad range of tests, including most TG-142 recommended procedures. By facilitating quantitative QA for a variety of protocols, film's clinical role at ABOC has become largely antiquated.

Using an EPID and PIPSpro instead of film for TG-142 testing can save up to $2,500 per year. Savings are greater if non-TG-142 tasks are included (weekly Winston-Lutz tests = $1,300/year).**

* Due to contractual reasons, the actual institution referenced in this case study must remain anonymous, and thus the AB Oncology Consultants name replaces it.
**Assumes $25 per sheet of film

Visibility and organization of data in individual hospitals and sites
ABOC's 90 North American facilities and 100 medical physicists present a variety of geographic and hierarchical challenges pertaining to digital data visibility. Mending these dilemmas required a simple, yet sophisticated framework with which to organize administrative and clinical access.

ABOC was able to implement such a system using the three-tier access approach of Divisions, Departments and Users in PIPSpro's System Manager.

Divisions – A division is the institution which oversees all individual sites. Most scenarios will only justify one division. However, clients such as consulting groups may use multiple divisions to segregate data.

Departments – Departments are the physical sites within a company. Customizable security measures, such as password renewal, ensure efficient regulation of data visibility for organizations with a number of clinics.

Users – Users are individual physicists and clinicians within a department. Three types of users exist within PIPSpro.

These ranks of varying control produce a tree of institutional oversight which ensures quick and safe access to imager and machine QA data.

ABOC desired a unified hub to save QA information to, export reports from and provide a timeline of imager performance across all machines. PIPSpro's capacity to share data on a central network helped realize this goal.

PIPSpro can be used in conjunction with a SQL server to store all QA data on a central network for documentation of test results and access to trending reports. Protocol and routine reports, charts and graphs can be exported to PDF and ASCII files without any additional software. These reports ensure that declining quality can be addressed with routine service rather than having to rush for costly emergency repair.

Standard Imaging's support staff proved paramount to addressing these larger corporate goals by guiding the integration of PIPSpro into ABOC's facilities. This was accomplished through several measures, including:
• Use of online seminars to guide installation
• Direct access to support professionals
• Alterations to a specialized phantom

Online seminars
Standard Imaging held a series of interactive webinars to aid in the installation, deployment and operation of ABOC's software and SQL server. Hosted by the Product Manager for PIPSpro, these deployment webinars focused on basic commissioning and operation, including:
• Setting up SQL Server
• Adding linear accelerators, imagers and phantoms to the system manager
• Image acquisition and analysis for each module

These meetings are recorded and available at any time for step-by-step guidance on integrating PIPSpro Software into clinical quality assurance routines.

Kraig Krause

Help from support specialists
In addition to group webinars, Standard Imaging offers direct access to their support staff through phone, email, online chat and screen-sharing conferences. These specialists provide one-on-one guidance from software installation to image acquisition and analysis.

"Kraig Krause [Technical Support Manager] got right back to me within minutes every time I emailed him and was extremely helpful." – August 13, 2012

"I have always gotten excellent customer service from Standard Imaging, without exception." – July 25, 2012

ABOC's implementation of PIPSpro Software has addressed their needs of transitioning to an EPID-based QA regimen, increased organization and visibility of data and creating a central location for data storage and reporting. This partnership with Standard Imaging software, support staff and product managers has catalyzed their transition to efficient, effective treatment.

To learn more about Standard Imaging and PIPSpro Software, please visit www.standardimaging.com/pipspro.