Daniel Letourneau, Associate Head of Medical Physics, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
The quality control (QC) of radiation-therapy (RT) treatment units is essential to deliver safe and effective radiation-therapy treatments. The complexity of the equipment and treatment techniques demands that many different tests be performed with varying frequencies, making the management of an RT department’s QC programme a complex and time-consuming task. Many professionals such as therapists, service engineers and physicists are working in collaboration to meet the machine QC requirements.
AQUA is a departmental quality-management software that centralizes all of the machine QC activities, helping to manage the complexity of quality-assurance requirements in a radiation-therapy department. AQUA is a server-based application that can be accessed throughout a RT department using a web browser. It uses a centralized database to consolidate all QC tests, procedures and results in one location and offers a workflow manager to guide the users in their day-to-day QC tasks. QC tests in AQUA can easily be created or customized using a XML-based scripting language. Integration between AQUA and the Elekta linear accelerators and other measurement devices (such as MV flat panels, electrometers and 2D arrays) using a built-in software interface has been implemented to automate time-consuming tasks. Finally, review tools such as near-real-time dashboard, plotting tool and reports are available in AQUA to streamline machine-performance assessment.
In this presentation, we will review some of the main AQUA features such as the workflow manager, QC test scripting language, and the dashboard for performance and compliance review. We will also describe test automation for some QC tasks and review the impact on QC workflows and test frequency. We will then discuss the impact of efficient review tools on the ability to detect change in machine performance and to guide servicing decisions. Finally, we will review new features in the up-coming version of the software.