Research and Scholarship

Evaluation of the Role and Impact of Ambulatory Clinical Pharmacists in an Academic Comprehensive Cancer Center

Laura A. Meleis, PharmD, MS, BCPS, Mallika P. Patel, PharmD, CPP, Michael DeCoske, PharmD, BCPS, Meredith Moorman, PharmD, CPP, Paul W. Bush, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, FASHP, and Sally Barbour, PharmD, BCOP, CPP, FHOPA

From Duke University Hospital, Department of Pharmacy, Durham, North Carolina

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

Correspondence to: Mallika P. Patel, PharmD, CPP, Duke University Medical Center, 052A Baker House, Trent Drive, Durham, NC 27710. E-mail: mallika.patel@duke.edu


J Adv Pract Oncol 2020;11(8):817–824 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2020.11.8.2 | © 2020 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Introduction: In recent years, there has been significant growth of ambulatory oncology pharmacy, yet there is a paucity of published studies on the clinical activities and impact of ambulatory oncology clinical pharmacists. At Duke Cancer Center, dedicated pharmacist services are embedded in specialized outpatient oncology areas. Pharmacists document their clinical and administrative activities in the electronic health record. The primary objective of this study is to quantify and assess ambulatory oncology pharmacist interventions in clinics in a large academic comprehensive cancer center. Methods: For the purposes of this single-center, retrospective, descriptive study, pharmacist interventions were collected, quantified, and described over a 6-month period from July 1 to December 31, 2015. The study evaluated the perceived contribution and impact of a pharmacist on patient care in ambulatory oncology clinics via a survey that was distributed to providers and nurses. Results: In the 6-month time period, there were 5,091 interventions spanning 3,967 patient encounters between nine ambulatory oncology clinic pharmacists. The average time per encounter in the 6-month time frame was 22.4 minutes. There were 92 respondents to the survey (61.7% response rate). Overall, responses showed that the clinical pharmacists add value to patient care and are integral members of the team. Conclusions: Although previous studies have described pharmacist activities in outpatient oncology clinics, this study showed a larger number and variety of clinical pharmacist activities in outpatient cancer clinics to improve patient care. Future directions include conducting prospective, controlled studies to link pharmacist activities to tangible outcomes.




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