The QUIRO study (assurance of quality and innovation in radiooncology): Methodology, instruments and practices

J. Dunst, N. Willich, H. Sack, R. Engenhart-Cabillic, V. Budach, W. Popp*

*Corresponding author for this work
3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The QUIRO study aimed to establish a secure level of quality and innovation in radiation oncology. Over 6 years, 27 specific surveys were conducted at 24 radiooncological departments. In all, 36 renowned experts from the field of radiation oncology (mostly head physicians and full professors) supported the realization of the study. Methods: A salient feature of the chosen methodological approach is the "process" as a means of systematizing diversified medical-technical procedures according to standardized criteria. On the one hand, "processes" as a tool of translation are adapted for creating and transforming standards into concrete clinical and medical actions; on the other hand, they provide the basis for standardized instruments and methods to determine the required needs of physicians, staff, and equipment. In the foreground of the collection and measurement of resource requirements were the processes of direct service provision which were subdivided into modules for reasons of clarity and comprehensibility. Overhead tasks (i.e., participation in quality management) were excluded from the main study and examined in a separate survey with appropriate methods. Results: After the exploration of guidelines, tumor- or indication-specific examination and treatment processes were developed in expert workshops. Moreover, those specific modules were defined which characterize these entities and indications in a special degree. Afterwards, these modules were compiled according to their time and resources required in the "reference institution", i.e., in specialized and as competent recognized departments (mostly from the university area), by various suitable survey methods. Conclusion: The significance of the QUIRO study and the validity of the results were optimized in a process of constant improvements and comprehensive checks. As a consequence, the QUIRO study yields representative results concerning the resource requirement for specialized, qualitatively and technologically highly sophisticated radiooncologic treatment in Germany

Original languageEnglish
JournalStrahlentherapie und Onkologie
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)138-148
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 02.2014


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