Avoiding Errors in Chemotherapy
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We welcome this article because interdisciplinary cooperation between physicians and pharmacists is of the utmost importance in intensive medication regimens of a complex nature (1). Another example of such successful collaboration is our chemotherapy (CTx) management system at the University Medical Center and Comprehensive Cancer Center Freiburg, in which we, as a center of excellence within the German Cancer Aid, organize the ordering of chemotherapeutic substances and the actual administration of CTx in an extremely safe way for our patients (2).
Our Clinical Cancer Research Group consists of three pharmacists and one medical technician and has a central role in CTx management. An extensive collection of CTx protocols was created in close collaboration with the responsible attending physicians and the hospital pharmacy (3), which is made available to others in hard copy form and as a database. This serves as a basis for safe CTx ordering and administration for different disciplines and all those with an interest in CTx.
Each order (approx. 11 000/year in the hematology and oncology department of the University Medical Center Freiburg) is checked in detail by our Clinical Cancer Research Group and hospital pharmacy prior to CTx administation (4). Because of the triple check by physician, Clinical Cancer Research Group, and pharmacy, 99.9% of all CTx related errors are eliminated effectively before they reach the patient. This CTx management system has proved extremely effective making an expansion of the system to other departments that administer CTx at the University Medical Center very easy to implement.
Our collaboration of physicians and pharmacists has won multiple awards (e.g. Lohfert award; poster awards at the German, Swiss and Austrian Society for Hematology and Oncology (DGHO )and at the German Society of Hospital Pharmacists (ADKA) annual conferences; Golden Helix Award finalist). This supports and complements the subject taken up by Deutsches Ärzteblatt and shows that collaborations between physicians and pharmacists are worthwhile and can usefully be integrated into hospitals’ clinical routines.
Dip. Pharm. Pract. Heike Reinhardt
Prof. Dr. med Monika Engelhardt
Klinik Innere Medizin I
Hämatologie, Onkologie & Stammzelltransplantation und
Comprehensive Cancer Center Freiburg
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that no conflict of interest exists.
|1.||Köberlein-Neu J, Mennemann H, Hamacher S, Waltering I, Jaehde U, Schaffert C, Rose O: Interprofessional medication management in patients with multiple morbidities—a cluster-randomized trial (the WestGem study). Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113: 741–8 VOLLTEXT|
|2.||Markert A, Thierry V, Kleber M, Behrens M, Engelhardt M: Chemotherapy safety and severe adverse events in cancer patients: strategies to efficiently avoid chemotherapy errors in in- and outpatient treatment. Int J Cancer 2009; 124: 722–8 CrossRef MEDLINE|
|3.||Engelhardt M, Berger DP, Mertelsmann R, Duyster J (eds.): Das Blaue Buch. 6th edition, Springer 2016.|
|4.||Engelhardt M, Kohlweyer U, Kleber M: Correspondence (letter to the editor): ordering errors were identified. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010; 107: 557–8. VOLLTEXT|