Clinical Computing Systems Management (HBI105)

Module Objective

By the end of the this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate and apply knowledge to support the use of clinical computing systems in their own area of physical science practice throughout the medical device life cycle, including specification, procurement, installation, commissioning, quality control and end of life, in a manner consistent with the roles and responsibilities of a Medical Physics expert (or equivalent for the relevant specialim) to ensure the safety and efficacy of medical radiation exposures for patients.

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will analyse, synthesise, critically evaluate and apply knowledge, and will be able to:

  • Critique the international, EU and national legislation, and institutional requirements with respect to specification, procurement and end of life of systems, including:
    • the specifications of a major clinical computing system (e.g. radiotherapy treatment planning systems, nuclear medicine image processing systems, Picture Archiving and Communication Systems [PACS], etc.) for tender purposes, generally and as tailored to particular clinical requirements;
    • acceptability and relevance criteria for clinical computing systems used in their own area of physical science practice, both generally and with respect to their specific clinical usage for the purpose of tender assessment;
    • the design of major clinical computing systems in their own area of physical science practice;
    • the use of evaluation and health technology assessment reports in the specification and procurement process.
  • Explain the underpinning principles of commissioning a major clinical computing system (e.g. radiotherapy treatment planning systems, nuclear medicine image processing systems, PACS, etc.), including:
    • international, national and local standards for commissioning computing medical devices in their own area of physical science practice;
    • the operation, calibration and traceability of testing used in clinical computing system commissioning;
    • the range of protocols for commissioning a major medical device.
  • Critically appraise the quality assurance of a major clinical computing system (e.g. radiotherapy treatment planning systems, nuclear medicine image processing systems, PACS, etc.), including:
    • protocols for quality control of major clinical computing systems in their own area of physical science practice;
    • the quality control required for the use of data from different modalities for image registration;
    • the quality control required for the use of data from different modalities for on treatment image verification.
  • Describe and explain the ICT requirements for a major clinical computing system, taking into account international, EU, national and institution requirements for computer systems and data protection, including:
    • the technological infrastructure required for a major clinical computing system and knowledge of how to establish the necessary interactions with the infrastructures of other medical specialities within the hospital (e.g. the radiotherapy network, Electronic Patient Record [EPR], PACS and imaging);
    • the principles of clinical computing system connectivity, connectivity standards and problems with interoperability, including Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM), HL7, DICOM RT, objects, data analysis tools;
    • the governance arrangements for the protection of patient data, including the national and institutional requirements and the requirements for research and teaching data.

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to critically apply their knowledge and understanding to develop and evaluate investigative strategies/procedures/processes that take account of relevant clinical and scientific evidence and other sources of information. They will also be expected to critically reflect on their performance and apply in practice a range of clinical skills, and will be able to:

  • Develop and evaluate the response to a tender specification for a major clinical computing system installation in their own area of physical science practice through:
    • developing a tender specification for a clinical computing system, taking into account the clinical and service needs;
    • specifying, justifying and ranking the criteria for specifying and selecting clinical computing systems;
    • participating in the selection of clinical computing systems via a tender process;
    • managing the end-of-life process of a clinical computing system;
    • participating in a project involving a clinical computing system installation from specification to first clinical use.
  • Critically apply their understanding of clinical computing system commissioning and acceptance by:
    • developing commissioning and acceptance test protocols for a major clinical computing system taking into account international, EU and national standards;
    • selecting and ensuring the calibration of appropriate test suite to be used in the commissioning and acceptance test process;
    • determining the training requirements for staff operating the devices;
    • undertaking and documenting commissioning and acceptance tests;
    • taking appropriate action where clinical computing systems fall outside acceptable criteria for commissioning and acceptance testing;
    • handing over systems that are safe for clinical use.
  • Critically apply their knowledge of the quality assurance framework to their own area of physical science practice by:
    • critically appraising the quality assurance framework for major clinical computing systems (e.g. radiotherapy treatment planning systems, nuclear medicine image processing systems, PACS, etc.);
    • developing relevant and specific quality control protocols for a major clinical computing system;
    • selecting and ensuring the calibration of appropriate test equipment to be used in the quality control process;
    • undertaking and documenting quality control on a range of clinical computing systems in their own area of physical science practice;
    • assessing deviations of performance parameters from reference levels and interpreting their relevance;
    • taking appropriate action where clinical computing systems fall outside acceptable performance criteria;
    • documenting and reporting faults and liaising with service agents over the repair and maintenance of clinical computing systems;
    • ensuring appropriate handover procedures are followed for taking systems in and out of clinical service;
    • reviewing the trends in quality assurance data over a suitable time period;
    • liaising with system vendors during and after the commissioning period to ensure ongoing needs are met.
  • Critically apply their knowledge of the interoperability of clinical computing systems by:
    • critically appraising the infrastructure for the interoperability of clinical computing systems in their own institution, including the requirements for patient confidentiality and data protection;
    • safely transferring, archiving and retrieving images and data across software and hardware interfaces;
    • advising on the requirements for transferring, archiving, or retrieving data across a hospital network.

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST would be expected to consistently demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for the role of a Medical Physics expert (or equivalent, depending on clinical specialism followed) working within the limits of professional competence and will be able to:

  • Apply evidence-based personal and team professional practice placing the patient at the centre of care.
  • Act in accordance with the principles and practice of patient-centred care, regularly reflecting on their practice and revising judgements and changing behaviour in light of new evidence and feedback.
  • Critically assess and evaluate personal and team-related performance in the context of evidence- based patient care and the safety of workers and the public, identifying areas of good practice, and make improvements where necessary.
  • Display a professional commitment to ethical practice, consistently operating within national and local ethical, legal and governance requirements.
  • Accept professional ethical standards and encourage informed debate and critical reflection within healthcare teams.
  • Seek advice of peers, legal bodies and regulators in the event of ethical dilemmas, which could include disclosure and confidentiality.
  • Respect requests from patients, workers and the public that information should not be shared unless this puts the patient or others at risk of harm.
  • Share and discuss information about patient care with the patient unless they have expressed a wish not to receive such information.
  • Apply the principles of Good Scientific Practice and the professional standards, performing to the highest standards of personal behaviour in all aspects of professional practice.