How Do I Move Standards of Care Into Practice?

April 26, 2017 by Kathleen Wiley MSN, RN, AOCNS®, and Barbara Lubejko RN, MS

ONS is committed to providing standards, resources, and tools to help build oncology-related policies and procedures, and implement evidence-based care ( ONS standards are based on the best available evidence ranging from systematic reviews of randomized clinical trials to expert opinion. We continue to analyze current care trends and feedback from members to identify needs for future standards.

Learn more about two of ONS’s recently created or updated standards that pertain to documentation and chemotherapy and biotherapy administration and how you can engage them in your practice.


ONS Documentation Standards for Cancer Treatment

Many elements need to be documented when caring for people undergoing different facets of oncology care. With ONS’s documentation standards (, nurses can identify physical, psychosocial, social and financial, and patient or caregiver education documentation requirements to complement care and drive comprehensive quality care.

Patient care and documentation should be individualized to meet specific needs and responses to care. Documentation standards provide a cancer-specific approach to ensuring documentation is comprehensive and meets the needs for quality measures and various accreditation requirements. The standards use terms that are consistent with those in most electronic health records to facilitate adaptation of standards.

How to move documentation standards into practice: Consider incorporating the standards as a checklist or tool to review current documentation procedures. ONS has also compiled various assessment tools ( for symptoms commonly experienced when undergoing cancer treatment.

Standards of Care
Anna Vioral, PhD, MEd, RN, OCN®, BMTCN®

ASCO/ONS Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and ONS recently collaborated to update our joint standards ( detailing safety features surrounding chemotherapy and biotherapy ordering, preparation and dispensing, administration, and monitoring. The standards provide answers to many of the common questions we receive from members regarding who is clinically able to administer chemotherapy, details required within comprehensive chemotherapy/biotherapy order sets, descriptions of the independent verification process, and many more facets of chemotherapy administration.

As part of the recent update, the standards now include oral agents and home management of these agents. They demonstrate ASCO’s and ONS’s commitment to patient and healthcare worker safety when providing highly complex care with high risk for error.

How to move safety standards into practice: Anna Vioral, PhD, MEd, RN, OCN®, BMTCN®, used staff education and engagement to implement the safety standards in her practice. Read more about her process (

Copyright © 2017 by the Oncology Nursing Society. User has permission to print one copy for personal or unit-based educational use. Contact for quantity reprints or permission to adapt, excerpt, post online, or reuse ONS Voice content for any other purpose.