Aim: To evaluate clinical interventions in cancer services made by pharmacists on the wards and in the dispensing of chemotherapy doses to assess pharmacists' contribution to patient care. Design: A prospective cross-sectional survey. Subjects and setting: Nine clinical pharmacists providing services on six cancer wards and at the chemotherapy production unit (CPU) at Barts and The London NHS Trust, London. Outcome measures: The type and frequency of clinical interventions made by pharmacists and their significance to patient care, as rated by an expert panel of pharmacy staff. Results: 115 pharmacist interventions on 340 cases (prescriptions, chemotherapy doses or patients) were observed. In 94% of cases, the pharmacist's advice was accepted by medical practitioners. The panel rated 64% of interventions to have a significant, very significant or potentially life-saving effect on patient care. The panel and a consultant medical oncologist reached agreement on the significance rating of only 17% of a sample of interventions; however, both rated 77% of the interventions to be significant, very significant or potentially life-saving. At the CPU, most interventions involved cancer therapy and were considered more significant than those made on the wards which mainly involved support therapy. Pharmacists of higher grades contributed more to care of patients on complex drug therapy, whose therapy required more significant interventions. Conclusions: Interventions made by pharmacists are related to the level of practice, with more complex interventions made by more senior or experienced staff. Pharmacist interventions can improve the standard of patient care, reduce risk and prevent major toxicity. The contribution of pharmacists is required for high quality services.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 8 Mar 2008|