Impact of pharmacist interventions on cost avoidance in an ambulatory cancer center

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Objective: To provide a foundation to justify the presence of a full-time clinical pharmacist in the ambulatory cancer center in addition to an existing centralized pharmacist through cost avoidance calculation and patient and staff satisfaction surveys.

Method: The prospective, pilot study took place in an ambulatory cancer center over four weeks in 2014. Cost avoidance values were assigned to interventions performed by a pharmacy resident, who was present in the ambulatory cancer center during clinic hours, along with a centralized oncology pharmacist routinely working with the cancer center. Anonymous patient and staff satisfaction surveys based on a 5-point Likert scale were distributed to assess the perceived benefit of a pharmacist located in the ambulatory cancer center.

Results: Data collection took place over approximately one month. After evaluation of 962 interventions from both pharmacists, the estimated cost avoidance was US$282,741 per pharmacist per year, yielding a net benefit of US$138,441. The most common interventions made by the resident included chemotherapy regimen review (n¼290, 69%) and patient counseling (n¼102, 24%), while the majority of the centralized pharmacist’s interventions was chemotherapy regimen review (n¼525, 97%). Results from the anonymous patient and staff surveys revealed an overall positive perception of the pharmacy resident while in the ambulatory cancer center.

Conclusion: A full-time clinical pharmacist in an ambulatory cancer center is both financially beneficial and positively perceived by patients and staff.

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Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice

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