Oral Chemo Education Sheets Provide Key Information to Patients

January 01, 2020 by Chris Pirschel ONS Staff Writer/Producer
Kristine B. LeFebvre, MSN, RN, RN-BC, AOCN®, is an oncology clinical specialist for ONS in Pittsburgh, PA.

Oral oncolytics have introduced a different level of complexity to care. Many patients won’t ever receive their treatments in the infusion room, which is where nurses have traditionally offered in-depth patient education. Instead, nurses are using new tools—like the Oral Chemo Education Sheets—to ensure patients have the information they need to understand their treatment and its side effects.

As part of a collaborative partnership from the National Community Oncology Dispensing Association, the Oral Chemo Education Sheets project brought together ONS, the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association, and the Association of Community Cancer Centers to address the issues patients receiving oral cancer therapies face. The group’s goal was to provide a patient education tool for healthcare providers who work closely with patients receiving oral therapies.

Together, the group defined a process for developing the sheets, identified what content should be included, and created a template to standardize the information for patients. Collaboration between representatives from clinical care and pharmacy was critical to the work. One of the key benefits for institutions is that the education sheets were designed to establish an oral chemo educational process, help institutions identify who provides the education, and equip clinicians with resources to follow through.

Each U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved oral oncolytic drug is currently at oralchemoedsheets.com. As soon as new medications or indications are approved, the team has a process in place to keep the documents updated with the latest information, and more than 90 education sheets are currently available. Drugs are listed by both trade and generic name, and the information has been tailored for each particular drug, including the drug indication, how it’s pronounced, dosing and scheduling information, how to store and handle the medication, and a list of potential side effects and management strategies. All of the documents are easy to print or simply share as online resources.

Nurses can easily start incorporating the education sheets into practice. The best way to familiarize yourself with the information is to visit the website and explore the resources available. Also, the documents are fillable PDFs, so nurses can add information such as contact details, whether the drug is coming from a specialty pharmacy, and any other instructions needed for the patient before printing them. Oncology nurses are vital to communicating important oral chemotherapy education to their patients, and oralchemoedsheets.com is a comprehensive resource that addresses the educational gap and provides easy-to-use information to keep patients safe and on track with their treatments.

Copyright © 2020 by the Oncology Nursing Society. User has permission to print one copy for personal or unit-based educational use. Contact pubpermissions@ons.org for quantity reprints.