SSM Health St. Mary’s wanted to provide a better patient experience by offering an open face mask and tattoo and mark free treatment for all cancer types. They also wanted to improve their treatment times so their staff could provide a better patient experience.
Clincial Excellence with Vision RT
St. Mary’s Hospital created a performance improvement board and over the course of six months, they gathered data and analyzed how their team could reduce controllable challenges in their workflow. They optimized their Vision RT training on their OSMS system and ROI selection to address their challenges.
AlignRT and Postural Video
Incorporated AlignRT into all patient workflows. This helped their therapists be more detail-oriented and decreased setup time when patients’ anatomy had changed significantly.
Tattoo and Mark-Free
St. Mary’s began using AlignRT to “fine tune” the patient’s positioning. With more training and therapists feeling comfortable using AlignRT, they added site by site until eventually transitioning to being completely tattoo and mark-free.
- With AlignRT and Postural Video, St. Mary’s was able to reduce their head & neck and brain patients re-imaging rates by 78% and overall re-imaging rates by 75%.
- Mark / tattoo-free treatment and setup with AlignRT produced a 60% reduction in time savings compared to setup with skin marks and tattoos
- Patient treatment block times were consistently reduced by 33% (15 to 10 minutes for all treatments sites) due to fewer adjustments, better visualization, and the use of AlignRT on all patients.
“Patients love that they do not have to have tattoos/marks. The patients that are most relieved about not needing tattoos are those who already know about tattoos due to previously having radiation therapy treatments or because they know of someone who had treatment and had tattoos. Tattoos are a permanent reminder of the treatment a patient went through. Often, patients do not want to have the constant reminder of the time they spent battling cancer.”
Noelle Ziegelbauer, B.S., R.T.(T)
Director – Radiation Oncology, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Janesville
“AlignRT has been a great advance for our patients. They are always so glad to hear that “we don’t do tattoos” anymore. As a radiation oncologist, AlignRT assures me that essentially all patients can have daily image guidance. The margins around our treatment volumes are smaller now, and radiation side effects are greatly improved because of daily AlignRT.”
MD Radiation Oncologist
SSM St. Mary’s will continue to expand the use of AlignRT technology throughout their network so they can offer tattoo-free radiation therapy to all their patients. They have also become a Center of Excellence with Vision RT, embracing SGRT technologies to improve their clinic and bring positive change to the radiation therapy treatment process. Their site will host visitors to learn more about AlignRT and how other centers can incorporate SGRT technology in your clinic.
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