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BENCHMARKS: 2.5 radiation therapy courses per 1,000 pop

In the ’80s, the British Columbia Cancer Agency established a radiation therapy database that captures data on ALL radiation therapy treatments delivered in British Columbia.  This article presents trend data from 1984 through 2008 drawn from this database.  Here are the population-based utilization metrics that are available:

  • Percentage of cancer patients who receive radiation therapy
  • Radiation therapy courses per million population (I re-calculated as per 1,000 population for the headline of this blog post)
  • Treatment visits (called “fractions”) per million population
  • Treatment visits / course of treatment (how many times does the patient have to come in for a radiation therapy treatment)
  • Fields / treatment visit 

Why do I like this article?  Tough to find population-based (per 1,000 pop) ancillary service utilization data.  Interesting treatment trends over the past quarter century.

Source: Jackson, S.M., and others.  Are the creation and maintenance of databases in healthcare worthwhile? An example of a unique, populated-based, radiation therapy database.  Healthcare Quarterly;15(4):71-77, 2012.  Click here to purchase full text: http://www.longwoods.com/content/23195  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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