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J Oncol Pract. 2012 Jan;8(1):7-12. doi: 10.1200/JOP.2011.000379. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

US Cancer Center Implementation of ASCO/Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.



Because cancer chemotherapy is a high-risk intervention, ASCO and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) established in 2009 consensus- and evidence-based national standards for the safe administration of chemotherapy. We sought to assess the implementation status of the ASCO/ONS chemotherapy administration safety standards.


A written survey of chemotherapy practices was sent to National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers. Implementation status of each of 31 chemotherapy administration safety standards was self-reported.


Forty-four (80%) of 55 eligible centers responded. Although the majority of centers have fully implemented at least half of the standards, only four centers reported full implementation of all 31. Implementation varied by standard, with the poorest implementation of standards that addressed documentation of chemotherapy planning, agreed-on intervals for laboratory testing, and patient education and consent before initiation of oral or infusional chemotherapy.


Given wide variation in the implementation of ASCO/ONS chemotherapy administration safety standards at US cancer centers, there are significant opportunities for improvement.

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