Integration of a clinical pharmacist into the hematology--oncology clinics at an academic medical center

Valgus, John M.; Faso, Aimee; Gregory, Kelly M.; Jarr, Sandra; Savage, Scott; Caiola, Stephen; Walko, Christine M.; Kim, Jiyeun; Bernard, Stephen A.
April 2011
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;4/1/2011, Vol. 68 Issue 7, p613
Academic Journal
Purpose. The development, implementation, and early experience with a program providing clinical pharmacist services at the hematology-oncology clinics of a university teaching hospital are described. Summary. With funding from a university research grant and other sources, a pharmacist was hired to launch a new program addressing four goals identified in a needs assessment: (1) improved management of supportive care, (2) enhanced education of patients receiving complicated chemotherapy regimens, (3) improved efficiency in the chemotherapy infusion unit, and (4) development of an experiential learning opportunity for pharmacy students and residents. The pharmacist hired to lead the ongoing program was a state-approved clinical pharmacist practitioner (CPP) who had authority to prescribe with physician oversight under established protocols. Experience. An oncology supportive care consultation service implemented by the CPP in collaboration with a nurse and a physician served 89 new patients in its first 18 months of operation; during that period the CPP made 186 interventions and wrote 136 prescriptions. The CPP also established a chemotherapy counseling service that provided more than 900 billable patient education sessions over 18 months. In addition, the CPP launched an effort to increase use of a rituximab rapid-infusion protocol among eligible patients. The creation of the new oncology pharmacist position has given dozens of pharmacy students and residents a new opportunity for interaction with oncology clinic patients and other health care team members. Conclusion. Integration of the services of a CPP into the hematology-oncology clinics has helped achieve goals set by physician, nursing, and pharmacy leaders.


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