healthcare at home
As the UK’s leading full service clinical provider of healthcare out-of-hospital, providing the best possible care to patients in a way that suits them, and their lifestyle, is a top priority.
Every day the clinical team at Healthcare at Home is delivering chemotherapy and immunotherapy to patients as part of medical treatment for cancer and other conditions.
With 160 nurses covering the UK, the company is able to provide the therapy wherever the patient prefers whether they are in bed at home, watching TV in the living room or focusing on life as normal at work.
Ensuring the safety of nurses as they deliver the treatment is vital for the company. There are potential risks of exposure throughout the administration of the drugs from skin exposure and inhalation.
As Clinical Lead for Chemotherapy for Healthcare at Home, Susan Cooper was aware of the risks and, when she investigated the option of using closed systems drug transfer devices (CSDTDs), she was quickly convinced they offered the most effective protection for her team.
“We work very hard at protecting our patients during treatment and we wanted to make sure we were offering our nurses the same standards of care,” explained Susan.
“We were already using BD’s Nexiva closed IV catheter cannulas so it made sense for us to look at a completely closed system drug transfer device. We were very impressed by what we saw and so we carried out a risk assessment.
“We quickly moved things forward by making a presentation to the Drugs & Therapeutics Committee and they were very supportive and asked us to write a business case. We were able to show that any change in cost was minimal and with the Teaching & Consumables Committee keen too we turned our focus to clinical governance.”
The next step was a six-week trial of the closed system drug transfer device with the East Midlands Team. With positive feedback, the new system was rolled out throughout the company.
The device manufacturer BD trained the teams wherever they were based in the UK with practical, hands-on sessions. BD continues to give ongoing support and help to ensure compliance and deal with queries.
Healthcare at Home has now been using the closed system drug transfer devices from early 2016 and the company’s cytotoxic policy now states they are mandatory.
“We really didn’t have many problems at all in making the change. With a clear process for changeover in place, there was no push back especially when we explained the benefits,” added Susan.
“It also helped that the BD team was so passionate about the system and they had so much in-depth clinical knowledge.
“We had to adapt the system slightly to accommodate the fact that the company that supplies our drugs won’t attach the bags to the system for us but we’ve worked around that to achieve the outcome we wanted.”