6 ......................... Policies and Procedures for Infusion Therapy: Ambulatory Infusion Centers Preface While a patient’s plan of care for infusion therapy often begins in the hospital, that care may transition to other practice settings. Ambulatory infusion centers offer an environment where patients who don’t need to be hospitalized can safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively receive their therapies. In our effort to ensure safe, quality infusion patient care, the Infusion Nurses Society (INS) develops resources to guide clinicians in their practice. We recognize the invasive nature and risks associated with infusion care—not only to our patients, but to clinicians as well. Therefore, it’s imperative the resources are supported by the most current research and best available evidence. Better patient outcomes result when there is consistency in practice among health care professionals. Incorporating practices from the Policies and Procedures for Infusion Therapy: Ambulatory Infusion Centers provides the framework to do just that. As the basis for professional practice, clinicians are accountable within the boundaries of their scope of practice. With variations among health care organizations, knowledge of the policies, procedures, and practice guidelines of one’s organization is essential, as well as any directives from federal, state, or regulatory bodies. While the policies and procedures are written in general terms, there may be device-specific features or specifications that need to be followed for proper function, so clinicians need to adhere to the manufacturers’ directions for use. The format for the Policies and Procedures for Infusion Therapy: Ambulatory Infusion Centers includes the policy, which defines a course and purpose of an action, and the procedure, which lists the steps needed to comply with the policy. Sections on key points, assessment, and patient education have also been added. While there are areas of care, such as infusion-related complications and infusion therapies that don’t fit the typical policy and procedure format, inclusion was important as these areas directly impact the delivery of infusion care. A bibliography accompanies each policy and procedure as a resource for those seeking more information. Since the 2016 Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice was the primary reference for development of the policies and procedures, the individual standards are not cited in the bibliography in order to minimize repetition. As clinicians seek to provide safe infusion care and improved patient outcomes, the Policies and Procedures for Infusion Therapy: Ambulatory Infusion Centers is an indispensable resource in the quest to achieve consistency in practice—a principle INS fully endorses. Mary Alexander, MA, RN, CRNI®, CAE, FAAN INS Chief Executive Officer
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