Design, Development, and Validation of a Virtual Radiation Oncology Clinic for Error Training

Date(s) - 03/13/2014
9:00 am

Twyla Willoughby, PhD Candidate

Virtual reality systems have been widely accepted in medical training and other high risk professions because they allow the user a full opportunity to work independently and to encounter errors in a save and cost effective manner. A Virtual Radiation Oncology Clinic (VROC) was designed and developed to allow self-guided training for radiation oncology physicians and staff. The design involved identifying the key elements of the radiation oncology process from the physicians’ perspective. These include tumor volume identification, dose prescription, plan evaluation, and radiation dose verification. Feedback opportunities and specific metrics to use within the VROC were identified through literature review in order to recommend contour evaluation and feedback about the quality of the overall treatment. The VROC includes a tool to assist in error analysis once a patient treatment is completed. Development included creating applications to generate feedback metrics, provide error analysis, and simulate the daily radiation treatment information. Once the VROC was designed and developed it was used to simulate a set of sample errors based on those reported in the literature. Tests of the VROC involved verifying the accuracy of the simulated daily treatment information compared to actual treatment information and analyzing the feedback metrics to be able to score the severity of the simulated error. Final face validation included evaluating the overall realism and utility of the VROC tool. Construct validation tests are proposed for the next implementation of the VROC system.