Febrile neutropenia (FN) is the most common complication of cancer treatment and the leading cause of unplanned hospital admissions. The widely practiced treatment for FN is admission for all patients, irrespective of underlying risk, for intravenous antibiotics until resolution of fever and neutrophil recovery. However, patients at low risk of infection or medical complications, as identified by the MASCC score, can be managed safely at home in a structured and supervised program.
We have demonstrated locally that a formal low-risk FN home-based program is safe, reduces hospital length of stay from 4 days to <1 day and has substantial cost savings. It has also been shown to improve patient quality of life.
Low-risk FN programs have now been implemented across Monash Health, Austin Health and The Royal Children’s Hospital. This work has been supported by a grant from Better Care Victoria (BCV) and Cancer Strategy. As part of this process, we have developed implementation toolkits that include an adult and paediatric low-risk FN policy and procedure as well as education and evaluation resources.
The low-risk FN toolkits will be made available to any health service that is interested in implementing this program. To compliment this, we are planning an implementation workshop on Friday 9th February. This workshop will be hosted at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and will cover the key topics for successful implementation and sustainability (preliminary program attached).
This workshop is free of charge to medical, nursing and allied staff, with both morning tea and lunch provided.
Please let us know if you are interested in obtaining further information, or if you are interested in attending the workshop.