Optimisation of chemotherapy prescription and preparation in an ambulatory unit: Validation of the OPTIMA program

Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2019 May;28(3):e13015. doi: 10.1111/ecc.13015. Epub 2019 Feb 20.


Objective: We implemented the two-step OPTIMA program to anticipate chemotherapy prescription which aims to assess the discrepancy rate between anticipated and real prescription and its impact on waiting time and quality of care.

Methods: This prospective study included cancer patients receiving any intravenous chemotherapy. The OPTIMA program consists in a nurse phone call and a blood sample two days before the planned treatment. Collected information and biological results were used by a physician to issue a non-effective (step 1) or effective (step 2) anticipated prescription the day before the consultation. The real prescription was given as usual by another physician on the day of the consultation. Waiting time was collected, and patients' satisfaction with care was assessed with the OUT-PATSAT35 questionnaire.

Results: Respectively, 540 and 979 consultations (283 and 294 patients) were analysed in both steps. The discrepancy rate was 8.7% (step 1). In routine practice, the OPTIMA program (step 2) reduced patients' waiting time (median time 55 vs. 95 min, p < 0.001). A high general care satisfaction score was observed in both steps (80.7% and 80.2%).

Conclusions: This anticipation program demonstrated the accuracy of chemotherapy prescription, whatever the regimen and cancer site, and its impact on waiting time optimisation.

Keywords: anticipated prescription; cancer; chemotherapy management; quality of care; waiting time.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents