Article Text

Download PDFPDF

5PSQ-024 Enhancing safety and efficiency in chemotherapy preparation and administration in a small oncology hospital
  1. B Dudik1,2,
  2. E Babiak1,2,
  3. K Kimlikova1
  1. 1St Elisabeth Cancer Institute, Pharmacy of St Elisabeth, Bratislava, Slovakia
  2. 2Faculty of Pharmacy- Comenius University Bratislava, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Bratislava, Slovakia


Background and Importance Optimising and standardising the preparation and administration of parenteral drugs in healthcare facilities may minimise medication errors, ultimately leading to safer, more efficient, and potentially cost-effective therapy.

Aim and Objectives Our objective was to create an informative manual containing data on the reconstitution and administration of all cytostatic drugs prepared in our hospital pharmacy. This manual was designed to surpass traditional chemotherapy orders for preparation and administration, as errors or unnecessary orders were often caught and corrected by pharmacists. Our study aimed to quantify the impact of this manual on preventing medication errors, cost savings, reduction in nursing time, and the mitigation of plastic waste.

Material and Methods We performed a retrospective analysis of all chemotherapy orders from March to August 2023, focusing on errors in preparation and administration orders. Our analysis included calculations of the cost savings from avoiding unnecessary infusion bottles and closed system devices, as well as reductions in plastic waste by weight. Additionally, we calculated the saved nursing hours during chemotherapy administration, converting this saved time into the average hourly cost of nurses’ work in our county.

Results Over a six-month period, we prepared 6,163 doses of chemotherapy. Our analysis revealed prescription errors in 17.86% of cases, primarily related to excessive drug dilution, potentially compromising drug stability, safety, and efficacy. In 6.25% of cases, drugs were needlessly ordered to be diluted in multiple bottles. These errors resulted in cost savings of €2,712.27 and prevented the generation of 34,824.5 grams of plastic waste. Furthermore, in 7.56% of cases, drugs were ordered to be administered over longer durations than necessary, leading to the prevention of 445.5 unnecessary nursing hours. When recalculated to the average hourly cost of nurses’ work, this equated to €10585,08 in savings.

Conclusion and Relevance Our study underscores the critical role of standardising the preparation and administration of parenteral drugs in healthcare establishments, not only enhancing safety and efficacy but also reducing the overall cost of treatment, minimising nursing time, and mitigating plastic waste. This investigation additionally highlights the indispensable contribution of pharmacists as integral members of the oncology team.

Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.