In oncology, an important parameter of safety is the potential treatment error in hospitals. The analyzed hypothesis is that of subcutaneous therapies would provide a superior safety benefit over intravenous therapies through fixed-dose administrations, when analyzed with trastuzumab and rituximab” Ponzetti et al (2016).
BACKGROUND: In oncology, an important parameter of safety is the potential treatment error in hospitals. The analyzed hypothesis is that of subcutaneous therapies would provide a superior safety benefit over intravenous therapies through fixed-dose administrations, when analyzed with trastuzumab and rituximab.
METHODS: For the calculation of risk levels, the Failure Mode and Effect Analysis approach was applied. Within this approach, the critical treatment path is followed and risk classification for each individual step is estimated. For oncology and hematology administration, 35 different risk steps were assessed. The study was executed in 17 hematology and 16 breast cancer centers in Italy. As intravenous and subcutaneous were the only injection routes in medical available for trastuzumab and rituximab in oncology at the time of the study, these two therapies were chosen.
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RESULTS: When the risk classes were calculated, eight high-risk areas were identified for the administration of an intravenous therapy in hematology or oncology; 13 areas would be defined as having a median-risk classification and 14 areas as having a low-risk classification (total risk areas: n=35). When the new subcutaneous formulation would be applied, 23 different risk levels could be completely eliminated (65% reduction). Important high-risk classes such as dose calculation, preparation and package labeling, preparation of the access to the vein, pump infusion preparation, and infusion monitoring were included in the eliminations. The overall risk level for the intravenous administration was estimated to be 756 (ex-ante) and could be reduced by 70% (ex-post). The potential harm compensation for errors related to pharmacy would be decreased from eight risk classes to only three risk classes.
CONCLUSION: The subcutaneous administration of trastuzumab (breast cancer) and rituximab (hematology) might lower the risk of administration and treatment errors for patients and could hence indirectly have a positive financial impact for hospitals.
Ponzetti, C., Canciani, M., Farina, M., Era, S. and Walzer, S. (2016) Administrative risk quantification of subcutaneous and intravenous therapies in Italian centers utilizing the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis approach. ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research. 8, p.353-9. eCollection 2016.
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