Research and Scholarship

The Impact of an Embedded Oncology Pharmacist in an Outpatient Oncology Center in the Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies

Denisse Mae Trinidad, PharmD, and Puja R. Patel, PharmD, BCOP

From Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, Geneva, Illinois

Authors’ disclosures of conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Denisse Mae Trinidad, PharmD, 300 S Randall Rd, Geneva, IL 60134. E-mail: dentrinidad37@gmail.com


J Adv Pract Oncol 2022;13(7):673–682 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2022.13.7.3 | © 2022 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Background: The growing demand for clinicians in the ambulatory oncology setting to reduce fragmentation of care and improve patient outcomes represents a need for oncology pharmacists as advanced practitioners in the provision of direct patient-centered care. These provisions can include supportive care management, drug-drug interaction evaluation, and selection of appropriate chemotherapy regimens to reduce physician workload in a cost-effective manner, while increasing physician and patient satisfaction. However, robust data are currently lacking to support the impact of pharmacists in the ambulatory oncology setting. The primary objective of this study is to justify the benefit of a full-time clinical pharmacist in the ambulatory oncology setting through documenting pharmacist-driven clinical interventions, correspondence of those interventions with cost avoidance, and perceived benefit from provider and patient satisfaction surveys. Methods: In this observational single-center pilot study, pharmacist interventions were documented and quantified from March 4, 2019, to March 9, 2021. This study evaluated the impact of these interventions through correlating cost avoidance and overall patient and provider satisfaction surveys regarding oncology pharmacists embedded in the outpatient clinic. Results: During the study period, a total of 545 diverse interventions were made by pharmacists. The estimated cost avoidance during the study period was $363,760, resulting in a net benefit of $753,150 per year. Both provider (n = 5) and patient (n = 8) surveys indicated strong agreement to the benefits of an oncology pharmacist’s involvement in clinic. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the clinical impact, financial benefit, and positive humanistic outcomes of an embedded oncology pharmacist within the ambulatory oncology setting. 




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