Press Releases

Rigorous Audit Ensures Quality and Safety Requirements for Radiotherapy Programs

Norton Healthcare First in US to Undergo Novalis Certification

Louisville, Kentucky, September 23, 2013—Today, Norton Healthcare announced it is the first health care system in the United States to undertake the Novalis Certified Audit. In addition, Norton will become the first Novalis Certified Radiosurgery Center, based on the standards set forth by an external panel of experts. In order to earn Novalis Certification, Norton must display adherence to a set of standardized quality and safety requirements for their stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) programs.

“We believe that this audit process is paramount, not only to patient safety, but to the establishment of clear guidelines for staff,” said Bob Shaw, President at Norton Cancer Institute. “By opening up our doors to this highly specialized Audit process, we have been able to demonstrate our competency and expertise at each and every step in the delivery of treatment for radiation therapy that helps everyone better understand the measures we take to keep our patients safe and provide specialized care.”

The purpose of Novalis Certification is to ensure highest standard and consistency for radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiation therapy programs and involves a review of organizational, personnel, technology and quality assurance requirements. The rigorous external audit was performed by Timothy D. Solberg, PhD, a Novalis-accredited Auditor and pioneer in Novalis Radiosurgery treatment.

“Ensuring a standard of safety for radiotherapy and radiosurgery programs across the globe is of the upmost importance,” explained Dr. Solberg. “It is the responsibility of everyone who plays a part in radiotherapy treatments, not just physicists and physicians, to remain vigilant at all times. Novalis Certification exists to ensure that advanced technologies are being implemented in accordance with best practices on a consistent basis”.

Norton Healthcare made the decision to become Novalis Certified to support a focus on SRS and SBRT, specialized fields in the institution’s cancer treatment portfolio. The three-day on and offsite Novalis Certification audit reviews hospital quality and safety procedures for SRS and SBRT treatments, as well as the workflows that are used in the delivery of radiotherapy. Addressing the continuum of care for clinical, support, administrative, patient safety goals and other best practices helps ensure safety and efficacy in treatment delivery.

“I especially like the focus on SRS and SBRT processes and requirements,” commented Aaron Spalding, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Director, Brain Tumor Center and Assistant Medical Director, Norton Cancer Institute. “This provides a strong message to patients and their families who are not only searching for a center who has purchased the latest technology available but one that invests in an end to end review of its implementation. This is what other credentialing programs are missing as well as the expertise for reviewing and evaluating such programs”

Novalis Certification is an independent program directed by the Novalis Circle that is available worldwide to qualified centers that show an exceptional commitment to safety and quality in the treatment of cancers with radiosurgery and SBRT and is built to work together with other established quality and safety programs.


About Norton Hospital

For 127 years, Norton Healthcare’s faith heritage has guided its mission to provide quality health care to all those it serves. Today, Norton Healthcare is a leader in serving adult and pediatric patients throughout Greater Louisville, Southern Indiana, the state of Kentucky and beyond. The hospital and health care system is the Louisville area’s third largest private employer, providing care at more than 140 locations throughout Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana. The Louisville-based not-for-profit system includes five Louisville hospitals with 1,837 licensed beds; seven outpatient centers; 12 Norton Immediate Care Centers; more than 12,000 employees; some 630 employed medical providers; and approximately 2,000 total physicians on its medical staff. Norton Healthcare has been recognized as one of the best places to work in Metro Louisville, the state of Kentucky and nationally. Norton Healthcare and Humana were among the first nationally, and the only ones in Kentucky, asked to create, operate and study the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model through the prestigious Brookings – Dartmouth ACO Pilot Project. More information about Norton Healthcare is available at NortonHealthcare.com.

About Norton Cancer Institute

As a four-time winner of the prestigious Press Ganey Summit Award for excellence in patient care, Norton Cancer Institute’s mission is to blend comprehensive healing, compassion and hope for patients and their families. Our team of experts is dedicated to offering patients confidence and the latest in care techniques through a multidisciplinary approach to advanced cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. Norton Cancer Institute offers a broad range of cancer specialists, services and programs, including the da Vinci minimally invasive surgical system; a $1 million Mobile Prevention Center; and cancer radiation centers offering state-of-the-art stereotactic radiosurgery (Novalis Tx and Novalis with TrueBeam STx) and advanced brachytherapy technologies such as MammoSite. Norton Cancer Institute also provides extensive educational, physical and emotional support services, as well as industry-leading cancer research studies and clinical trials. Norton Cancer Institute is designated by the American College of Surgeons as the only accredited Integrated Network Program in Kentucky and one of only 34 in the nation. Norton Cancer Institute is Kentucky’s only National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program site and one of only 21 sites in the nation. More information is available at NortonCancerInstitute.com.

About the Novalis Circle

The Novalis Circle is: a worldwide network of clinicians dedicated to the advancement of radiosurgery. Novalis® Radiosurgery users represent the leading edge in the application of radiosurgery and SBRT and their participation in the Novalis Circle community indicates their strong commitment to improving healthcare. The Novalis Circle provides a communication and collaboration network for developing new ideas and optimizing treatments that will continue to change the face of cancer treatment. NovalisCircle.org