American Board of Radiology approves ASTRO education program
The American Board of Radiology (ABR) has approved The Performance Assessment for the Advancement of Radiation Oncology Treatment (PAAROT) education program from the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO). 

The courses are only required for radiation oncologists with time-limited certificates issued by the ABR in 1995, but all practicing radiation oncologists are encouraged to participate in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.

ASTRO gained approval by meeting criteria for a Type II Practice Quality Improvement (PQI) project, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the ABR’s MOC program. To satisfy the Part IV requirements of the ABR-MOC program, radiation oncologists must complete three PQI projects during a 10-year period. At least one of the three PQI projects must be a Type II project, under which clause PAAROT now qualifies.

ASTRO selected five PAAROT beta-site participants in June to test the program. The participants included the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, Fla.; Emory University in Atlanta; Duke University in Durham, N.C.; and the Cancer Center at Lake Manassas in Gainesville, Va.

Each participating cancer clinic is entering a minimum of 10 patient charts each month by completing a baseline assessment survey for each through PAAROT and will then provide feedback on their experience, including ways to improve the program, before the official launch.

When PAAROT launches in winter 2008, participating physicians will be able to analyze their strengths and areas that need improvement, as well as receive feedback on where specific changes can be made – all online. A practice inventory will then be compiled from which participants will select a minimum of one area to improve upon.

“PAAROT will be an invaluable resource for physicians to analyze and improve their practice and the quality of care they give to patients receiving radiation therapy,” said Laura Thevenot, ASTRO’s CEO.

PAAROT will be available in late 2008, and will be free for ASTRO members for the first year.