The goal of this work is to evaluate the effectiveness of Plan-Checker Tool (PCT) which was created to improve first-time plan quality, reduce patient delays, increase the efficiency of our electronic workflow, and standardize and automate the physics plan review in the treatment planning system (TPS). PCT uses an application programming interface to check and compare data from the TPS and treatment management system (TMS). PCT includes a comprehensive checklist of automated and manual checks that are documented when performed by the user as part of a plan readiness check for treatment. Prior to and during PCT development, errors identified during the physics review and causes of patient treatment start delays were tracked to prioritize which checks should be automated. Nineteen of 33 checklist items were automated, with data extracted with PCT. There was a 60% reduction in the number of patient delays in the six months after PCT release. PCT was successfully implemented for use on all external beam treatment plans in our clinic. While the number of errors found during the physics check did not decrease, automation of checks increased visibility of errors during the physics check, which led to decreased patient delays. The methods used here can be applied to any TMS and TPS that allows queries of the database.
PACS number(s): 87.55.-x, 87.55.N-, 87.55.Qr, 87.55.tm, 89.20.Bb