TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan, July 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center (KF-SYSCC) has established an entirely paperless and filmless clinical process in radiation oncology, designed to enhance patient safety as well as operational efficiency. Using the ARIA® oncology information system from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), the clinical team has automated essential tasks, built in safety-checks, and centralized patient information for easier access by staff members.
ARIA combines a comprehensive, oncology-specific patient electronic medical record (EMR) with numerous tools for managing clinical, administrative and financial operations in multidisciplinary cancer care settings.
"We were using both Varian and Siemens information management software, but we standardized on Varian's ARIA platform. Within three months we had removed all paper charts from the department," said Yeh-Chi Lo, Ph.D., chief of the Department of Medical Physics. "Varian and its local agent, Cooperative C.L. Enterprise Co., provided us with valuable assistance, helping us to configure the ARIA software to manage different types of treatment, and to reflect our preferences in terms of clinical work flow. The software is set up to interrupt the clinical workflow at critical junctures unless specific safety checks have been completed and documented."
"Conversion to an electronic process actually made our workflow more efficient, and potentially safer due to careful automation of essential steps," added Skye Hung-Chun Cheng M.D., chief of the Department of Radiation Oncology. "Our goal was to become a fully paperless and filmless department. ARIA has also enhanced the communication between our clinical team members."
The KF-SYSCC Radiation Therapy Department is a mixed-vendor environment, treating patients on three Varian linear accelerators including a TrueBeam® system plus a Primus-M machine from Siemens.
Seven radiation oncologists working with nine medical physicists at the cancer center offer patients a broad range of advanced treatments, including intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), RapidArc® radiotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Clinicians use respiratory gating to compensate for breathing motion during treatments for lung or breast cancer.
The cancer center also manages high-dose-rate brachytherapy and seed implant procedures using the ARIA platform, resulting in one comprehensive database of patient information that can be mined for insights about trends and outcomes.
"The future of health care will center on the use of evidence-based protocols within a pay-for-performance framework," said Dr. Cheng. "Realizing that vision will rely on our ability to mine our clinical data--something that would not be feasible without a comprehensive EMR like ARIA."
"The Radiation Therapy Department of the Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center is the first department in Taiwan to use ARIA to establish a fully paperless clinical environment," said Zhang Xiao, Varian's vice president and managing director of the greater China region. "Varian commends the clinical and management teams for being forward-looking thought leaders in the use of digital technology to improve the quality of cancer care."
ABOUT VARIAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, focuses energy on saving lives by equipping the world with advanced technology for fighting cancer and for X-ray imaging. The company is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiation. The company provides comprehensive solutions for radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,800 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. The company's center in Beijing encompasses oncology equipment manufacturing operations, an educational center for radiotherapy clinical professionals, a customer service center, and X-ray Products assembly and service. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com.
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.