ASCO develops and publishes standards to provide frameworks for best practices in cancer care. They can inform policies and procedures in the healthcare setting, internal quality assessment, and external quality monitoring.

2016 Updated American Society of Clinical Oncology/Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards, Including Standards for Pediatric Oncology

Published online, November 21, 2016, DOI: 10.1200/JOP.2016.017905

Michael N. Neuss, MD, Terry R. Gilmore, RN, Kristin M. Belderson, DNP, Amy L. Billett, MD, Tara Conti-Kalchik, MSN, Brittany E. Harvey, Carolyn Hendricks, MD, Kristine B. LeFebvre, MSN, Pamela B.Mangu, MA, KristenMcNiff, MPH, MiKaela Olsen, RN, Lisa Schulmeister, MN, Ann Von Gehr, MD, and Martha Polovich, PhD, RN

Purpose

To update the ASCO/Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards and to highlight standards for pediatric oncology.

Methods

The ASCO/ONS Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards were first published in 2009 and updated in 2011 to include inpatient settings. A subsequent 2013 revision expanded the standards to include the safe administration and management of oral chemotherapy. A joint ASCO/ONS workshop with stakeholder participation, including that of the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses and American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, was held on May 12, 2015, to review the 2013 standards. An extensive literature search was subsequently conducted, and public comments on the revised draft standards were solicited.

Results

The updated 2016 standards presented here include clarification and expansion of existing standards to include pediatric oncology and to introduce new standards: most notably, two-person verification of chemotherapy preparation processes,administration of vinca alkaloids via minibags in facilities in which intrathecal medications are administered, and labeling of medications dispensed from the health care setting to be taken by the patient at home. The standards were reordered and renumbered to align with the sequential processes of chemotherapy prescription, preparation, and administration. Several standards were separated into their respective components for clarity and to facilitate measurement of adherence to a standard.

Conclusion

As oncology practice has changed, so have chemotherapy administration safety standards. Advances in technology, cancer treatment, and education and training have prompted the need for periodic review and revision of the standards.

Standards Content