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Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2013 Nov;39(11):511-6.

A risk analysis of cancer care in Norway: the top 16 patient safety hazards.

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Department of Oncology, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway.



Cancer care processes represents a number of potential threats to patient safety. A national risk analysis of Norwegian cancer care, entailing diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, palliative care, and terminal care, was conducted.


Literature review and a retrospective analysis of hazards in different national databases were combined with interviews with key health personnel in an attempt to identify 50 possible hazards. A project team from the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision (NBHS) and 23 other persons participated in the workshop in 2009.


In a stepwise, consensus-driven process, the 23 participants discussed the 50 possible hazards and then selected the 16 that they considered most important-clustered into three groups: diagnosis and primary treatment, interactions, and complications. The NBHS distributed the risk analysis report to a variety of stakeholders and asked Norway's hospital trusts to address the hazards. The report generally met a positive reception, albeit with local and interdisciplinary differences in the extent of the perceived applicability of the respective hazards. Two follow-up studies in 2012 and 2013 showed that the hospital trusts lacked the implementation capacity to identify operational solutions to reduce the hazards. At the largest hospital trust in Norway-Oslo University Hospital-the Department of Oncology retested the national risk analysis in in 2011. Four groups, representing different parts of the patient care process. selected 9 of the 16 national hazards and identified 4 new ones. The department has established goals and appropriate activities for 3 of the hazards.


The Ministry of Health and Care determined that hospital trusts must increase their implementation capacity regarding operational solutions to reduce the hazards.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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