Improvement Initiative to Develop and Implement a Tool for Detecting Drug-Drug Interactions During Oncology Clinical Trial Enrollment Eligibility Screening

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Screening subjects for drug-drug interactions (DDIs) before enrollment in oncology clinical trials is integral to ensuring safety, but standard procedures or tools are not readily available to screen DDI in this setting. Our objectives were to develop a DDI screening tool for use during oncology clinical trial enrollment and to test usability in single-center and multicenter pilot studies.


A multistage approach was used for this quality improvement intervention. Semistructured interviews with individuals responsible for DDI screening were conducted to develop a prototype tool. The tool was used for screening DDI in subjects enrolling in National Clinical Trials Network trials of commercially available agents during a single-center 3-month pilot. Improvements were made, and a 3-month multicenter pilot was conducted at volunteer SWOG Cancer Research Network sites. Participants were surveyed to determine tool usability and efficiency.


A tool was developed from semistructured interviews. A critical feature was reporting which medications had specific pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics including transporter and cytochrome P450 substrates, inhibitors, or inducers and QT prolongation. In the 12-site study, average (SD) DDI screening time for each patient decreased by 15.7 (10.2) minutes (range, 3–35 minutes; P < 0.001). Users reported the tool highly usable, with >90% agreeing with all positive usability characterizations and disagreeing with all negative complexity characterizations.


A DDI screening tool for oncology clinical trial enrollment was created and its usability confirmed. Further testing with more diverse investigator sites and study drugs during eligibility screening is warranted to improve safety and data accuracy within clinical trials.


This article was originally published in Journal of Patient Safety, volume 17, issue 1, in 2021.


Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.