Dobbin Scholar from McGill University on research visit to Trinity College Dublin

November 7, 2014

Dobbin Scholar Dr. John Kildea (McGill University) pictured with Prof. Mary Coffey (Trinity College Dublin)

 John Kildea writes;

I am presently visiting Dublin on a Dobbin scholarship to learn about the Radiation Oncology Safety Information System (ROSIS) and associated patient safety initiatives at Trinity College Dublin and across Ireland. I am a clinical medical physicist at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal and chair and course director of the Canadian Winter School for Quality and Safety in Radiation Oncology. My visit to Ireland is intended to help me form the curriculum of the Canadian Winter School and to provide input to the new Canadian system for incident reporting in radiation oncology.

The research group within the Discipline of Radiation Therapy at Trinity College Dublin are known and respected worldwide for the ROSIS project and the associated radiotherapy safety course that they have presented annually since 2005. ROSIS is a continuously-updated database of patient safety incidents that have occurred in global clinical radiation oncology practice. It was designed such that radiotherapy centres worldwide can share their patient safety experiences and learn from each other with an ultimate goal to improve patient safety internationally. The ROSIS workshop makes use of the ROSIS data and is the natural learning extension of the database.

My host Mary Coffey is one of the founders of ROSIS and course director of the ROSIS workshop. Mary has kindly set me up with an office in the Discipline of Radiation Therapy at Trinity College and she has arranged for me to visit all of the radiotherapy centres, both public and private, across the Republic of Ireland. My visit thus far has concentrated on studying the ROSIS database and learning about the curriculum of the ROSIS workshop. The workshop is quite similar to the Canadian Winter School but tends to focus more on specific safety initiatives than the more multidisciplinary Canadian course. There are lots of ways that our courses can influence each other and my visit will no doubt engender lots of discussions amongst our respective organising committees. So far, I have made one visit to a radiotherapy centre, the St. Luke’s cancer centre at St. James’ hospital in Dublin. My discussions with the staff there focused on their quality and safety practice compared to Canadian practice. Our systems are quite different and there is a lot we can learn from each other.

Over the next three weeks I will visit the remaining radiotherapy centres across Ireland before concluding my visit with a study of how the Canadian reporting system for radiation incidents might tie in with current worldwide efforts at incident reporting that are following the lead of ROSIS. I plan to present a summary of my results at the 2015 Winter School in Kelowna, BC where the new Canadian incident reporting system will be unveiled. I’m very excited by the potential of this visit and I and my hosts have already identified many areas of future collaboration.