Center for Outpatient Cancer Chemotherapy
Overview of the department
Although anticancer chemotherapy has typically been a part of inpatient care, the focus of cancer chemotherapy is shifting from in- to outpatient care according to the development of new anticancer drugs and supportive therapies, such as G-CSF and antiemetic drugs. Patients are able to continue to undergo cancer treatment without disruptions to their social lives, which will improve the quality of their lives. The center was established in May 2005 as a department dedicated to providing advanced chemotherapy for outpatients with cancer.
System for the provision of medical services and treatment policy
The center provides the support for home chemotherapy or biological agents used for rheumatoid arthritis and dermatological diseases, besides the cancer chemotherapy. The operation of the center requires highly professional staff, collaboration with relevant clinical departments, and an established treatment system.
Full-time staff, including pharmacists specializing in cancer treatment and nurses with expertise in chemotherapy, appropriately prepare drugs for patients and provide them with consultation and guidance on the drugs as well as advice on safety during treatment and any adverse events. In case of severe adverse symptoms, multidisciplinary health care involving consultation by specialists is implemented.
Furthermore, physicians of clinical departments with expertise in cancer chemotherapy work in shifts to address emergency patients. There is also a system based on which the staff of the center, Department of Emergency Care, and other relevant clinical departments cooperate with each other to promptly respond to emergency cases, including the extravasation of anticancer drug , sudden changes in the conditions of patients.
To provide patients with comfortable treatment environments, the center has created a relaxing space, adopting a bright-colored, calm interior design. Independent air-conditioning systems allow the adjustment of room temperatures according to patients’ requests. In addition to standard beds, reclining chairs are available. As a patient amenity measure, an LCD TV is individually usable by each patient. Semi-private rooms and multi-function exclusive toilets are also available for pediatric cancer patients and their families accompanying them.
Outline of Our Medical Care
To safely, comfortably, and efficiently perform outpatient cancer chemotherapy, we regularly hold meetings, identify problems, and implement necessary measures. We actively participate in study and research group meetings, and acquire new knowledge and skills. We also conduct surveys to clarify adverse drug reactions, and adopt appropriate measures. Furthermore, we begin to assess patients’ distress from the early stages using symptom checklists to provide specialized management for them.
Characteristics of the tasks
Pharmacists and nurses thoroughly check a predetermined chemotherapy regimen for the administration schedule, dosage, time, and supportive treatment on the previous day or earlier. In the center, the route of administration and equipment scheduled to be used undergo thorough checking for preparation. On the day, the attending physician confirms the treatment, and pharmacists double-check drug-dispensing.