Welcome to 2016! I don’t know about you, but 2015 just flew by. I can always hope 2016 moves at a more measured pace, but in our ever-evolving, high-tech society, it will probably move along even faster. Things are changing with ONS Connect. This year, instead of quarterly issues, we are going to be published monthly. For those of you who have been around for a while, we’re just going back to what existed several years ago. 

The benefit to you, our readers, is that we’ll have more of our regular columns such as Closer Look, Straight Talk, What Would You Do?, Five-Minute In-Service, and Capitol Connection. Also, the information in Just In and New Treatments, New Hope will be able to be much timelier. Currently, in the print issue, if a new drug, treatment regimen, or important research findings are reported today, you may not read about it for three to four months, unless you visit the ONS Connect website. As the year progresses, you will see more changes rolled out.

New this year is the Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) column. I know, the question running through your head may be “another EBP column?” Yes. This column is designed to highlight either an ONS member researcher whose work is related to the main Up Front article, or to give a quick synopsis of the evidence and how it is and can be used in daily practice. 

Each year, a larger percentage of our patients are put on a drug regimen with oral agents. That’s good and bad. It’s good because they don’t have to come to the clinic and spend hours in a chemo chair. But it’s also bad because, in addition to all of the other stressors our patients and their families experience during treatment, we are now asking them to know how and to be responsible for a significant piece of their cancer treatment. That’s a lot of responsibility for someone without experience in delivering chemotherapeutic agents. It’s also a lot of responsibility on oncology nurses to teach, assess, and monitor proper adherence to complicated regimens and safe handling of these drugs. 

Many potential barriers exist to patients adhering 100% to any oral treatment regimen, including proper handling, administration of a complex regimen, side effects, and cost of treatment. What is the current science and information around these issues? How can we, as nurses, improve our patients’ experiences and outcomes when they are on a regimen with one or more oral agents? Besides the information in this issue, ONS also has an online Oral Adherence Toolkit.