Northwell Physician’s Research Nationally Recognized for Improving Radiation Therapy Quality

A Northwell Health physician is being honored by the Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) for her work on implementing high quality radiation therapy delivery across Northwell’s 21-hospital health system to optimize the process of care for patients and reduce potential errors in treatment.

Leila Teodora Tchelebi, MD, a radiation oncologist at Northern Westchester Hospital and Phelps Hospital and an Associate Professor of Radiation Medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine, is one of the ROI’s three Publication Excellence Award Winners for 2023. The annual award recognizes the best scientific work in the field of radiation oncology. Dr. Tchelebi will accept the award on Oct. 1 at the American Society of Radiation Oncology annual meeting in San Diego.

“This award acknowledges Dr. Tchelebi’s research in radiation medicine and we are honored by this exceptional national recognition,” said Louis Potters, MD. Dr. Potters is the senior vice president and deputy physician-in-chief of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute, and chair of radiation medicine at Northwell Health and Lenox Hill Hospital. “This research also highlights the collective work of the Department of Radiation Medicine at Northwell, where we have standardized care and perform peer review on all patients. This study also demonstrates the process of care here at Northwell is not just unique, but that it offers a higher level of quality for all of our patients.”

Dr. Tchelebi published, “A Decade of Prospective Peer Review: Impact on Safety Culture and Lessons Learned in a Multicenter Radiation Medicine Department” in the journal Practical Radiation Oncology. The paper examined a decade of peer review across Northwell’s widespread and diverse radiation treatment facilities and found that the department’s unique and rigorous quality assurance program is sustainable in a large health network like Northwell.

In order to advance patient safety and results, Northwell has been pioneering its Smarter Radiation Oncology® program. The program uses the latest evidence-based medicine to customize radiation therapy for cancer patients. Members of Northwell’s Radiation Medicine team across the network, including physicians, dosimetrists, and physicists meet daily to review each patient’s treatment plan to ensure it is optimized to result in best outcomes for patients.

“This study demonstrates that Northwell is able to provide the highest quality of care to our patients by prospectively reviewing each case so that any potential errors are caught early, and it also increases uniformity and standardization of care across the network,” said Dr. Tchelebi.

Northwell also uses cutting-edge radiation technology to make sure treatment is targeted directly at the tumor. The more targeted radiation treatment is, the less likely it is to cause complications for patients in the future.

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