The ASCO/ONS Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) are engaged in an ongoing collaborative project to use a rigorous, consensus-based process to develop standards for safe administration of chemotherapy. Current ASCO/ONS standards address safety of all routes of chemotherapy administration to adult patients in the outpatient setting and inpatient setting.
The ASCO/ONS chemotherapy safety standards are intended to reduce the risk of errors when providing adult patients with chemotherapy, and to provide a framework for best practices in cancer care. Specifically, they can inform practice policies and procedures, internal quality assessment, and external quality monitoring.
View the 2013 standards.
View the 2011 revised standards.
View the original, 2009 standards.
In December 2008, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) held a workshop to develop consensus regarding standards for safe administration of chemotherapy to adult patients in the outpatient setting. Although relevant guidelines and policy statements existed (e.g., Controlling Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Drugs, Chapter 2: Safe Handling of Chemotherapy Drugs [OSHA]; Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations for Practice [ONS], Criteria for Facilities and Personnel for the Administration of Parenteral Systemic Antineoplastic Therapy [ASCO]), specific requirements to promote patient safety had not been well defined by key stakeholders. The complexity of administration of antineoplastic agents, and the potential safety issues involved, are unique to oncology care and require careful consideration.
A description of the ASCO/ONS chemotherapy safety standards process for development, consensus and refinement, and a discussion of the standards and results are available on the ASCO web site, http://www.asco.org/institute-quality/methodology,
To assist organization in the implementation of these standards, to review and develop needed policies and procedures, a guide has been made available on the ASCO website, at www.asco.org/safety.