Risk management of onco-hematological drugs: how and how fast can we improve?



Medication errors in oncology may cause severe damage to patients, professionals, and the environment. The Italian Ministry of Health issued Raccomandazione 14 to provide guidelines for prevention of errors while using antineoplastic drugs. This work aimed at analyzing Raccomandazione 14 through the different viewpoints of the hospital pharmacist, the nurse, the oncologist, and the hospital director.


Twenty-seven Italian healthcare organizations participated in a self-assessment survey evaluating compliance with Raccomandazione 14 within the oncology, hematology, and pharmacy departments.


The self-assessment results showed a general acknowledgement of the need for centralized management of anticancer agents. The specific responsibility of the pharmacist on the centralized management of anticancer drugs from preparation to disposal emerged as a critical point. The nurse, beyond the skills in drug administration and prevention of extravasation, also plays a fundamental role in educating and supporting the patient. The physicians, who are attentive to scientific, clinical, and regulatory criteria in prescribing and monitoring the therapies, are called upon to improve awareness on the importance of sharing standardized procedures with other professionals, to minimize medication error occurrence. The implementation of a complete computerized management from prescribing to drug administration and follow-up was highlighted. Multidisciplinary groups were constituted across the nation by professionals dedicated to the implementation of electronic health records and drug history and medical reconciliation processes.


Our analysis of the Ministerial Raccomandazione 14 urges implementation of the resources for ensuring quality and safety during prescription, preparation, and administration of anticancer drugs.

Tumori 2016; 102(Suppl. 1): 15 - 29

Article Type: REVIEW



Mattia Altini, Marna Bernabini, Paolo Marchetti, Laura Orlando, Barbara Rebesco, Valeria Sirna

Article History


Financial support: No financial support was received for this submission.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has conflict of interest with this submission.

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  • Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e per la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola (Forlì-Cesena) - Italy
  • Oncology Unit, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome and Oncology Unit, IDI - I.R.C.C.S., Rome - Italy
  • Division of Haemato-oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan - Italy
  • Pharmacology Division, IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, Genoa - Italy

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