Operational Excellence

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-12-2019


Operational Excellence

MeSH Headings

head, neck, cancer, weight loss, gastrostomy, radiation, oncology, patient consultation, retrospective, patients, root cause analysis, physician


Treatment for head and neck cancer often results in weight loss as a side effect. One option to mitigate this weight loss is placement of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube placement. Radiation oncologists at a academic tertiary medical center discuss the option of PEG placement during patient consultation.

A retrospective evaluation of weight loss in patients receiving radiation was conducted over a two-year period. The goal of this data collection was to create a standard for oncology consultations regarding PEG tube placement.

Baseline metrics and a root cause analysis drove subsequent data collection steps. After analyzing the raw data, variables of interest and descriptors of PEG tube placement were identified. Patients and providers reported many benefits of having more information during consultations.

Findings will be reviewed with all radiation oncologists with the plan to incorporate them into patient-physician discussions during consultations and treatment visits.