178-1061 / Improvement of patient safety in Danish Cancer Care – establishing a National Task Force with stakeholders and cancer patients

GOP Information
Organisation sharing the GOP
Related practices from PaSQ database
Danish Cancer Society


Quality management system
Quality improvement project
Patient safety culture / Patient safety climate
Implementation of Patient Safety initiatives / Activities
GOP Description
Implementation level
Clinical settings
Cancer care in Denmark, including diagnosis, inpatient treatment and care and follow-up.
The aim was to contribute to the enhancement of patient safety in cancer care, by establishing a Danish National Task Force on Patient Safety in Cancer Care, and thereby apply the knowledge of patient safety risks in cancer care, into safety enhancing activities in clinical practice.
Health care professionals and cancer patients.

Patient safety improvement is generally not pursued with a disease specific focus, despite studies of patient safety in cancer care have shown that cancer patients in particular are prone to both disease and treatment specific risks.

To improve the patient safety in cancer care and apply the knowledge of the extraordinary risks associated with both the cancer disease and treatment into safety enhancing activities in clinical practice, we established a Danish National Task Force on Patient Safety in Cancer Care.

Methods: In total forty-six persons (representing cancer patients and 24 different stakeholders in cancer care) joined the Task Force. They were a multidisciplinary array of nurses, medical doctors, medical physicists, pharmacists, researchers, administrators, patient safety and monitoring professionals, health care leaders and patients. The health care professionals represented different wards/hospitals, interest organizations, scientific organizations etc.

The Task Force selected 7 themes for enquiry and the safety problems were described and recommendations for improvement were drafted. Patient representatives participated in each of the seven themes.

Timeframe implementation
The National Task Force was established in 2011.
Implementation tools available
The Task Force focused on seven issues: Radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hospital acquired infections, patient involvement, monitorering,transfers between units and course.

Implementation tools were not developed and it’s not possible – at this point in time – to say something about implementation and implementation of the recommendations.

Implementation cost
Costs were not collected.
Method used to measure the results
The 43 recommendations will be used for future actions and changes. They are not implemented yet, and therefore results are not measures yet.
Results: 43 recommendations for actions and changes with the potential to improve the safety for cancer patients in the Danish health care system were drawn (i.e. checklist for safe prescribing in chemotherapy, a survivorship care plan, data linkage methods in relation to monitor hospital acquired infections.)
Analysis of the results
Evaluation: A disease specific approach to safety improvement seems rewarding. Gathering stakeholders in cancer care holds a potential to enhance the understanding of hazards, to mature the safety culture and to describe new improvement opportunities. Patient involvement is valuable, but must be adjusted to the patients’ personal and professional competences.

Implementation of the safety improving recommendations requires both support and commitment at all levels of the health care system.

Implementation barriers
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Other information
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