Belinda Bailey and David Eedes of Icon were invited to present the ICON Chemotherapy Administration Standards & Guidelines to delegates on the recent SASCRO/SASMO 2017 Conference.

They would like to share the slide set and abstract from the prestigious national event with you on the Icon website.

Belinda and David writes…

The ICON Chemotherapy Administration Standards & Guidelines document is the product of hard work and collaborative input by a large group of like-minded colleagues over the past three years.

ICON is involved in chemotherapy unit accreditation at all our network practices countrywide. During these visits the need and desire of many of our oncology nurse colleagues for standardised, practical chemotherapy process guidelines became apparent. Stemming from this perceived need, ICON embarked on the development of these guidelines in late 2014/early 2015.

The main goals were to draw up a standardised resource document to assist with the administration of chemotherapy with safety and error reduction as key to reducing risk to both patients and staff.

This document is arranged to be useful in the practical clinical setting by following the normal journey or pathway of a typical chemotherapy patient.  This pathway has 3 key professionals involved  – the oncologist, the oncology pharmacist and the oncology nurse.

Patient-centred care: an empowered patient is very much part of the drive to the delivery of safer care with better outcomes. A well-educated, motivated and supported patient should be a partner in the co-management of their treatment – the vigilant partner.

The document incorporates the role of the oncologist and addresses the issues mentioned in this slide set and more with the issues relating to the reduction in administration errors. Patient education, informed consent, and chemotherapy prescriptions have been highlighted in this document.

We looking forward to our oncology pharmacist colleagues developing a comprehensive document of their own that would complement and complete our document and we would be happy to collaborate with any oncology pharmacist or group interested in this.

The bulk of the document looks at the actual processes that are done in a chemotherapy room by the chemotherapy nurses, including mixing and administration as happens in many units.

Important topics covered include:

  • medical surveillance of staff
  • chemotherapy spillage management
  • decontamination, cleaning, and disinfection
  • worker contamination
  • post contamination staff surveillance.
  • Appropriate & competent staff (this includes skills, numbers and environment)
  • Issues around pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • PPE – looking at some controversies that exist around appropriate and practical PPE
  • Record keeping

The Standards are intended to be a living document that will be open to ongoing input and regular updating and ideally reviewed annually to reflect new knowledge, updated criteria and guidelines.