Background Due to the high toxicity of anticancer drugs and their low therapeutic index, any errors in anticancer drug treatment can cause serious injury, even at approved doses. For this reason it is necessary have some national guidance to prevent errors during anticancer treatment.
Purpose To prevent errors in anticancer drug treatment, the Ministry of Health has developed a specific Recommendation addressed to healthcare workers (physicians, pharmacists and nurses).
Materials and Methods A working group consisting of pharmacists, oncologists, nurses, psychologists and patients representatives was set up. The same format of Recommendations made by MoH for Patient Safety was followed.
Results The Recommendation is addressed to Regions, Health facilities, clinical risk managers, healthcare workers; it finds application inside the Medical Oncology and Haematology Units of private and public hospitals, inside hospital pharmacies and at the patient’s home. The Recommendation is to protect patients needing anticancer drug treatments. Highlight: the hospital should provide working instruments and develop a procedure including all instructions for proper anticancer drug management. They also have to: draw up a Patient Safety Training Plan, promote communication and integration among health professionals, provide accurate and complete information to patients and their families, consider the psychological and emotional state of patients and give detailed indications for the delivery of drugs at discharge.
Conclusions The Recommendation is a reference for health professionals involved in handling anticancer drugs, providing information about the patient’s objectives and expected benefits from treatment. The document provides guidance aimed at preventing errors that can occur during anticancer drug treatment and includes recommendations encouraging the promotion of clinical governance. A verification of this Recommendation is expected soon. Many experts gave their suggestions to facilitate its implementation.
No conflict of interest.
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