Study: Inclusion of Oncology Pharmacist Led to Financial, Clinical Benefits in Clinic

May 29, 2020

An outpatient multiple myeloma clinic benefited substantially from employing a clinical pharmacist.

Employing a clinical pharmacist into an ambulatory oncology clinic led to dramatic and sustainable financial and clinical benefits, according to a study abstract led by the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) published online in the 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program. The findings underscore the important role of oncology pharmacists in a cancer clinic. 

The addition of an oncology pharmacist can greatly improve medication adherence and cancer-related symptom management for patients transitioning cancer treatments to outpatient settings. UCMC had not historically employed pharmacists into their ambulatory oncology clinics, but were evaluating pharmacist’s roles in them. For the project, the primary objective was to evaluate the clinical and financial effects of an oncology clinical pharmacist specialist in an interdisciplinary multiple myeloma (MM) clinic.

Using a validated scoring tool, each type of intervention was given a value based on current literature and internal evaluations. Pharmacist specialists were available for consult by the MM clinic staff and were able to be consulted for any medication-related inquiry. Based on these consults, the pharmacists then categorized their interventions into 12 predefined intervention categories.

According to the results, over 39 clinic days, the clinical pharmacist specialist conducted 241 patient consultations and made 474 interventions. The most frequent interventions made by the pharmacist were medication teaching (97), dose adjustments (82), and medication reconciliation (63). The value of the interventions made by the pharmacists during the study period was estimated to be $189,441, with a predicted annual value of $757,764, according to the study.

References:

Virani A, Schlei Z, Jakubowiak AJ, et al. Impact of an oncology clinical pharmacist specialist in an outpatient multiple myeloma clinic. Abstract presented at: 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program. Accessed May 26, 2020. Doi: 10.1200/JCO.2020.38.15_suppl.e14030