Background and aims: Chemotherapy medications have narrow therapeutic index and high toxicity and hence, chemotherapy medications errors (CMEs) are very common and are associated with serious consequences. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the types, severity, contributing factors, and preventive strategies of CMEs in patients with cancer.
Methods: This narrative review was conducted in 2021. Data were collected through searching the Google Scholar, Elsevier, PubMed, ProQuest, Scientific Information Database (SID), Magiran, IranDoc, and IranMedex databases. Search key terms were “adverse events”, “medication error”, “cancer”, “patient safety”, “safety management”, “chemotherapy”, “antineoplastic agents”, “neoplasm”, and “cancer”.
Results: In total, 125 articles were retrieved and finally, eighteen articles were reviewed. Findings came into four main categories, namely types of CMEs, causes of CMEs, severity of CMEs, and strategies to prevent CMEs. The four main types of CMEs are prescription, dispensing, preparation, and administration errors. Prescription and preparation errors are the most common CMEs.
Conclusion: Strategies such as computerized physician order entry software, educational programs for nurses, improvement of nurses’ work conditions, and employment of well-trained nurses are recommended to reduce CMEs and improve patient safety.