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Medical Malpractice Allegations in Radiation Oncology: Results from a National Comparative Benchmarking System

  • October 1, 2017

Using data from the CRICO Strategies Comparative Benchmark System (CBS), CRICO patient safety experts Kathy Dwyer, Winnie Yu, and Courtney DeRoo collaborated with researchers from Harvard Radiation Oncology Program and the Department of Radiation Oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute to study the characteristics of radiation oncology (RO) malpractice cases and identify opportunities to decrease patient harm. 


An abstract of the study’s findings was presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO) 59th Annual Meeting in  September 2017, as well as published in ASTRO’s special  journal  issue of the meeting’s proceedings. A full manuscript of the study is expected to be produced and published at a later date. 

Study Conclusion

Most ambulatory RO cases involved improper performance of treatment/procedure or wrong/unnecessary treatment/procedure with technical skill as the most likely contributing factor in both AMC and community hospitals cases. These results support the need for continuing initiatives to improve safety and decease litigation in radiation oncology.

Abstract Citation 

Royce TJ, Dwyer K, Yu W, DeRoo C, Tishler RB. Medical malpractice allegations in radiation oncology: Results from a national comparative benchmarking system. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 2017; 99(2) supplement: E560-E561.