ALERTS - an examination of computer alerts in Radiotherapy - MDPH 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: John Kildea

Supervisor's Email: john.kildea [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 5149341934 ex 44154

Supervisor's Website: depdocs.com/jkildea

Supervisor's department: Medical Physics

Course number: MDPH 396 (Medical Physics)

Term: Winter 2018

Project start date: Monday, January 8th, 2018

Project end date: Monday, April 16th, 2018

Project title: ALERTS - an examination of computer alerts in Radiotherapy

Project description (50-100 words suggested):
Modern radiotherapy involves sophisticated linear accelerators delivering precise doses of radiation to tumorous tissues in patients’ bodies.
Computer software is involved in every step of the radiotherapy planning and delivery process. When software encounters unexpected behaviour it usually provides a warning or an alert to the user. The level of alerting depends on the developer of the software and the perceived level of risk involved. Some softwares produce lots and lots of warnings and alerts, some produce few. There is a balance between too many, which are distracting to the user and may cause “alert fatigue” and too few, which may leave some problematic situations unannounced.
In this research study, the student will record and examine the alerts that pop up on the screens of radiotherapists at the MUHC during routine radiotherapy. The goal of the project is to determine if there are too many unnecessary alerts and examine if they may be distracting to the radiation therapists. The project is part of a larger international research study.
The suitable student will be organized, have some experience with spreadsheets, and be willing to spend one afternoon or morning at the MUHC Glen site. He/she will learn about radiotherapy and medical physics and the quality and safety aspects of radiation oncology.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): 50% final report, 25% organized online lab book, 25% milestones and progress.

Other project information: The suitable student will be organized, have some experience with spreadsheets, and be willing to spend one afternoon or morning at the MUHC Glen site. He/she will learn about radiotherapy and medical physics and the quality and safety aspects of radiation oncology.

Project status: This project is open to applicant.

How students can apply / Next steps: Please contact me by email for further steps/information

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves NEITHER animal subjects, nor human subjects, nor biohazardous substances, nor radioactive materials, nor handling chemicals, nor using lasers.