ISMP International Medication Safety Self Assessment® for Oncology

April 3, 2012                                              

Now Available: ISMP International Medication Safety Self Assessment® for Oncology


Horsham, Pa– Oncology practitioners all over the world can now access a tool that will assist in making drug treatment for cancer even safer for their patients. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), along with ISMP Canada and the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP), has launched the 2012 ISMP International Medication Safety Self Assessment® for Oncology. The new assessment will identify an international baseline for safe medication practices related to oncology as well as potential opportunities for improvement.

Hospitals, ambulatory cancer centers, and private physician office practices where chemotherapy is administered are being asked to convene multidisciplinary teams to complete the assessment tool. To ensure anonymity, data reporting will be through a secure web-based form that is available on the websites of all three partner organizations (,, and

Data for the self assessment can be submitted online through June 29, 2012. At the completion of the project, respondents will be able to compare their completely confidential results with aggregate data from other demographically similar organizations and use that information in their own safety and quality improvement efforts.

A multidisciplinary team of international experts evaluated published world standards to develop the oncology self assessment, which covers ten key areas:

  • Patient information
  • Drug information
  • Communication of drug orders and other drug information
  • Drug labeling, packaging, and nomenclature
  • Drug standardization, storage, and distribution
  • Medication device acquisition, use and monitoring
  • Environmental factors, workflow, and staffing patterns
  • Staff competency and education
  • Patient education
  • Quality processes and risk management 

“For the first time, oncology practitioners have a specific oncology medication safety self assessment resource that can help them evaluate how they are responding to the multitude of medication safety best practices and standards that exist,” says Carole R Chambers, Past President, ISOPP. “We hope that healthcare organizations providing cancer treatment will join this important effort and bring a greater focus on what we can be doing to protect patients from medication errors.”

The international oncology self assessment has been made possible through a grant from ISOPP, as well as from The Clinical Excellence Commission and the Cancer Institute of New South Wales. Private sector support was received from Baxter Corporation, ICU Medical Inc., Pfizer Oncology, and Roche.

For more information about the assessment, contact

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is an independent, nonprofit charitable organization that works closely with healthcare practitioners and institutions, regulatory agencies, consumers, and professional organizations to provide education about medication errors and their prevention. ISMP represents more than 35 years of experience in helping healthcare practitioners keep patients safe, and continues to lead efforts to improve the medication use process. ISMP is a federally certified patient safety organization (PSO). For more information on ISMP, or its medication safety alert newsletters and other tools for healthcare professionals and consumers, visit


ISMP Canada

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada is an independent national not-for-profit organization committed to the advancement of medication safety in all healthcare settings. ISMP Canada works collaboratively with the healthcare community, regulatory agencies and policy makers, provincial, national and international patient safety organizations, the pharmaceutical industry and the public to promote safe medication practices. ISMP Canada's mandate includes analyzing medication incidents, making recommendations for the prevention of harmful medication incidents, and facilitating quality improvement initiatives. Information about ISMP Canada’s work with Canadians to prevent medication incidents is available at:; and also, a website designed for consumers.


International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners

The International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP) was founded in 1988 and incorporated in 1996 as a not-for-profit society. ISOPP promotes and enhances oncology pharmacy practice worldwide in order to improve cancer patient care with over 40 countries represented in its membership. The Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice (JOPP) is the official publication of ISOPP. Research, standards, education and publication are key activities that support ISOPP's purpose. For more information on ISOPP, visit

CONTACT: Renee Brehio, Media Relations, ISMP