ACR-ARS Practice Parameter for Communication: Radiation Oncology

January, 01, 2024 | Select Oncology Journal Articles


This practice parameter was revised collaboratively by the American College of Radiology (ACR), and the American Radium Society (ARS). Timely, accurate, and effective communications are critical to quality and safety in contemporary medical practices. Radiation oncology incorporates the science and technology of complex, integrated treatment delivery and the art of providing care to individual patients. Through written physical and/or electronic reports and direct communication, radiation oncologists convey their knowledge and evaluation regarding patient care, clinical workup, and treatment provided to others in the management of the patient. Applicable practice parameters need to be revised periodically regarding medical record documentation for professional and technical components of services delivered.


This practice parameter was developed and revised according to the process described under the heading “The Process for Developing ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards” on the ACR website ( by the Committee on Practice Parameters—Radiation Oncology of the ACR Commission on Radiation Oncology in collaboration with the ARS. Both societies have reviewed and approved the document.


This practice parameter addresses radiation oncology communications in general, including (a) medical record, (b) electronic, and (c) doctor-patient communications, as well as specific documentation for radiation oncology reports such as (a) consultation, (b) clinical treatment management notes (including inpatient communication), (c) treatment (completion) summary, and (d) follow-up visits.


The radiation oncologist’s participation in the multidisciplinary management of patients is reflected in timely, medically appropriate, and informative communication with patients, caregivers, referring physician, and other members of the health care team. The ACR-ARS Practice Parameter for Communication: Radiation Oncology is an educational tool designed to assist practitioners in providing appropriate communication regarding radiation oncology care for patients.

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