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Int J Cancer. 2009 Feb 1;124(3):722-8. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23991.

Chemotherapy safety and severe adverse events in cancer patients: strategies to efficiently avoid chemotherapy errors in in- and outpatient treatment.

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1
Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

Abstract

To enhance the quality and safety in cancer treatment, and in acknowledgement that medical errors occur, we have established 2 error management systems: one monitors chemotherapy errors, the other records all severe adverse events occurring in chemotherapy-treated cancer patients (SAECTx) in in- and outpatient treatment. These error systems have been implemented by our departmental "Clinical Service Center," a multidisciplinary team which controls all chemotherapy protocols and orders prior to the medication reaching the patient. We performed a prospective cohort study in consecutive cancer patients who received chemotherapies in our department between January 2005 and December 2006. Over this 2-year period, 2,337 patients were treated, with an equal distribution as in- and outpatients: 22,216 consecutive chemotherapy orders were analyzed, of which 83.5% were completely flawless, whereas we detected and corrected medical and administrative errors in 17.1%: in 3.8%, these errors involved the chemotherapy itself, in 4.5% the patient data and in 8.7% missing written informed consent forms. Chemotherapy errors were less frequent in outpatients than inpatients (3.3 vs. 4.5%, respectively). In outpatients, the rate of chemotherapy errors decreased from 4% in 2005 to 2.8% in 2006, but remained stable for inpatients (4.4% 2005 vs. 4.7% 2006). Among a total of 3,792 detected errors, only 3 reached the patient, resulting in an error rate in patients of 0.079%. Therefore, since we detected a substantial number of chemotherapy-related errors and intercepted 99.9%, we recommend our efficient surveillance system as an important safety check, thereby ensuring that chemotherapies are delivered error-free to cancer patients.

PMID:
18989899
DOI:
10.1002/ijc.23991
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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