The following article features coverage from the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Adoption of a novel assessment tool allowed clinicians to better capture adverse events (AEs) in hospitalized patients with cancer and may lead to new interventions for avoiding or limiting the impact of AEs on patients’ lives, according to findings from a Swiss study presented at ESMO Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

Investigators reviewed data from hospitalized patients with cancer, and categorizing them according to their treatment-related AEs using the Global Trigger Tool-based Swiss Oncology Trigger Tool (SOTT). With the use of the SOTT, the researchers found a relatively high rate of harm related to care, but only 22% of that harm was considered preventable.

The researchers developed SOTT, which includes two modified Global Trigger Tool modules (“Cares” and “Medication”) and a new “Oncology” module. The team applied the SOTT as a means to better define rate of occurrence of AEs, level of harm, and preventability. They reviewed the health records of 4 Swiss inpatient oncology and hematology-oncology units. The analysis included 224 records from patients discharged over a 6-week period.

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Among the 224 cases (150 oncology and 74 hematology-oncology), 94 cases (42%) were identified as having at least one AE. A total of 169 AEs were identified (100 oncology and 69 hematology-oncology), and the researchers calculated a rate of 76 AEs per 100 admissions and 108 AEs per 1000 patients-days.

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The most common adverse events were pain related to care (29), constipation (17), and anemia (9). In this study, AEs from 98 cases were categorized as having caused temporary harm and the need for an intervention. In 25 of the cases, a prolonged hospital stay was involved. Overall, of 125 cases, adverse events in 78 (61%) were considered nonpreventable, 28 (22%) were considered preventable, and 19 cases (15%) were undetermined.


Gerber A, Da Silva Lopes AM, Szüts, et al. Adverse events in oncology and haemato-oncology inpatients of Swiss hospitals: a descriptive study. Presented at: ESMO Congress 2019; September 27-October 1, 2019; Barcelona, Spain. Abstract CN31