We at ProKnow want you to come here to challenge yourself, test your skills, and most importantly, learn tips and techniques to continually improve. For that reason, your planning and contouring activity on ProKnow is secure and anonymous. We even comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
However, we notice that a small fraction of our users enter incomplete or inaccurate information in their user profile. We suspect that might be to give an extra layer of anonymity, though we’re not sure.
This short article is to explain the benefits of entering a full, accurate profile. Trust us, this is not for our benefit; it’s for yours!
We will illustrate with a specific example of a fictional user named Ruth Smith. Let’s imagine that Ruth is a medical physicist at an institution called Baraboo River Cancer Center.
Our name field is a single, free-text field. Any entry that is not blank is accepted, and we do not enforce that this name be real or complete. So, in theory, Ruth could enter “Superstar123” as her name. But there are real advantages for Ruth entering “Ruth Smith” in this field, such as the following:
- If Ruth scores high enough on a public study to reach the “high performer” threshold, her name will appear on the list of high performers. Pride and publicity! If she enters a fictional name, nobody will know her achievement. Rest assured, we only publish the names of high performers, so if Ruth’s score is not as high as she had anticipated, no one will know.
- As Ruth completes more and more activities — both planning and contouring — using ProKnow, her high performances will be recorded on her achievements résumé, accessible via the My Achievements module on ProKnow. These achievements are private to her, but at any time, she can use ProKnow to generate high-quality PDF reports. These are great to include in an employee training file and in applications for new jobs or promotions. The PDF reports will show the user name, however it is entered. Ruth probably would want “Ruth Smith” to show up as the true superstar, not the fictional name, “Superstar123.”
- The user name also appears on the Pride of Workmanship cards that we mail out to all participants in international, public plan studies.
- If a participant wins a competition (e.g., a planning or contouring activity where there are vendor-sponsored awards or prizes) using a fictional name, nobody will know who won, and any associated prize will either not be awarded or will go to the next-highest scorer.
Similar to the name, the institution is a free-text field. And like the name, if Ruth is a high performer, her institution’s name as she has entered it will appear in high-performer announcements.
We are seeing more and more that institutions are recognizing their staff’s professional accolades, and some are even putting out press releases and news articles when their employees do well. If Ruth were to leave the institution field blank or enter a fictional name, it might be a real opportunity lost for both Ruth and Baraboo River Cancer Center.
The address can be left blank. Leaving it blank is a way of opting out of the Pride of Workmanship program, while entering your correct address is the way to opt in. We get great feedback from this program. Since this program began, many people have updated their profiles to make sure they receive the commemorative, collectible cards.
In other words, if Ruth leaves this address blank, she won’t receive her collectible cards to recognize her participation in these important studies. If she enters her work address, she’ll receive them and can display them proudly however she chooses.
In both the planning and the contouring quality systems, the ProKnow “Population Results” module will allow the participants to interactively study the results of the anonymous population of their peers. The module includes many drill-down features, such as grouping results by modality, radiation type, and planner role.
If Ruth does not enter her role as medical physicist (i.e., she leaves it as “Other” or enters it incorrectly), it affects the population data analysis. Her data points will not appear as part of the sub-population of her fellow medical physicists around the world.