Technical Note: Use of automation to eliminate shift errors

Academic Article


  • Purpose: To create automated tools within the treatment planning system (TPS) that eliminate the common error pathway of providing incorrect shift instructions to therapists. Materials/Methods: Two scripts were created within the TPS using the Eclipse API (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA). One script detects whether or not the user origin has been placed correctly at the intersection of the simulation markers while the other calculates a shift instruction sheet that can be printed for treatment. Results: Analysis of our RO-ILS database identified eight errors caused by improper setting of the user origin in the treatment planning system. The user origin script flagged all of the treatment plans for markers inconsistent with user origin. Automated calculation of shifts eliminated the error pathway of miscalculating or transcribing shift values. Conclusion: Automation can eliminate the common error pathway of providing the wrong shifts to therapists. The scripts have been made available as open-source software for implementation at other radiotherapy clinics.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Covington EL; Popple RA; Cardan RA
  • Start Page

  • 192
  • End Page

  • 195
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 3