Use of a prospective risk analysis method to improve the safety of the cancer chemotherapy process.
Using failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA), this study examined the role that pharmacy services organization and information technologies (IT) played in more than 12,000 chemotherapy treatments at a 2200-bed university hospital. Investigators performed their analyses after reengineering of the medication administration process and prior to full integration of IT solutions. Findings suggested major improvements and risk reduction resulting from the reengineering process, with centralization of pharmacy and IT implementations contributing complementary benefits. The study provides a nice example of how FMEA techniques analyze high-risk care processes while prioritizing the opportunities for necessary safety interventions.