Three potential indicators to measure the quality of ambulatory chemotherapy delivered by nurses have been identified by researchers.
The researchers, from the National Nursing Research Unit in London, reviewed 11 possible indicators for nursing quality. They concluded that three – safe medication administration, management of nausea and vomiting, and patient experience – should be piloted as potential metrics.
The researchers said the indicators were needed to help the cancer nursing workforce “respond to new challenges and new ways of working” of the Cancer Reform Strategy.
In particular they said the indicators would allow the contribution of clinical nurse specialists to be measured – something that charities have said is vital to protect specialist posts (news, 2 February, page 2).
The researchers said: “The work described here represents a first stage to support realisation of an ambition to develop and implement a system to measure outcomes associated with nursing care in the context of ambulatory chemotherapy.
“It revealed that although the evidence was not strong there was a clear indication that some outcomes may indeed be sensitive to nursing care. Precisely because of this lack of evidence the development of the indicator set should now proceed with some urgency.
They added: “Only through establishing a system of regular measurement of outcomes will it be possible to begin to understand the impact of variation in nursing on the quality of care.”