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Status and Perception of Risk Management in Radiation Therapy: Survey Among Korean Medical Physicists

Ahn, Sohyun*; Shin, Dong, Oh; Choi, Sang, Hyoun; Koo, Jihye§; Lee, Soon, Sung; Park, Dong-wook**; Oh, Yoon-Jin††; Park, Sohyun*; Kim, Dong, Wook‡‡

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000739

This study was conducted as part of an endeavor to improve the risk management system of radiation therapy departments in the Republic of Korea. An online survey on the status and perception of Korea’s medical physicists on risk management in radiation therapy was carried out. A total of 40 domestic radiation oncology departments participated. This survey is divided into three categories: (1) work environment; (2) risk management status; and (3) opinions on how to improve risk management. Based on the results of the survey, the conclusions that can be derived are (1) the majority of respondents have a high interest in the risk management of radiation therapy; (2) the lack of staffing is one cause of risk management difficulties; (3) a risk-related terminology and classification system at the national or professional association level are required; (4) each hospital should create a voluntary reporting system for the handling of incidents; (5) medical physicists should establish incident reporting, analysis and countermeasures; and (6) government should develop education and training programs. It was confirmed that the current risk management system should be changed by education in the hospital and at the national level in order to improve risk management related to radiation therapy. In addition, it was recognized that a dedicated staff and a risk management certification system and organization for patient safety in radiotherapy are needed.

*Department of Radiation Oncology, School of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea; †Department of Radiation Oncology, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Seoul, Korea; ‡Division of Medical Radiation Equipment, Korea Institute of Radiological andMedical Sciences, Seoul, Korea; §Department of Bio-convergence Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Korea; **Department of Radiation Oncology, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea; ††Research Institute of Clinical Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Korea; ‡‡Department of Radiation Oncology, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Korea.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: Dong Wook Kim, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, #892, Dongnam-ro, Gangdong-gu, Seoul 05278, Korea, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 8 August 2017)

© 2018 by the Health Physics Society