Background and importance There is an increasing demand for better management of patients due to high numbers of newly diagnosed cancer patients and increasing complexity of chemotherapeutics. Pharmacists are able to ensure patient’s safety and quality of life.1
Aim and objectives The objective of this intervention study was to evaluate the benefit of a pharmacist embedded in a multiprofessional cancer care team on an oncology ward of a maximum care hospital with >1000 beds in Germany.
Material and methods The present study, conducted from 2020 to 2021, was a single-centre, controlled, retrospective and prospective intervention study consisting of three different phases P0, P1 and P2 with a duration of 3 months each. P0 represented the retrospective control phase as there was no pharmacist on ward. In the prospective phases P1 and P2, the ward pharmacist determined, documented, and solved medication errors (MEs) as part of their daily work. ME was defined as any unintentional mistake in prescription of drugs. MEs can result in avoidable adverse drug events. In P2, newly developed medical standards exist to allow the pharmacist to work in a more structured environment. Throughout all phases, two clinical pharmacists independently identified all MEs which they detected from archived medical files (P0) or electronic patient records (P1 and P2). The classification as clinically relevant ME was set after confirmation by an oncologist to ensure clinical relevance.
Results The three phases with 52, 46 and 50 patients, respectively, were comparable regarding the baseline characteristics. For better comparability the MEs refer to the number of medication lines (ML) which comply with one drug per day. The statistical analysis showed a significant reduction of clinically relevant MEs (P0: 34 MEs/100 ML vs P1: 8 MEs/100 ML vs P2: 2 MEs/100 ML; p<0.001) for all phases.
Conclusion and relevance The implementation of a ward pharmacist had a significant impact on the reduction of MEs and consequently increased the patient’s medication safety. Although these results cannot be easily transferred to other disciplines, the present study clearly shows the benefit of a ward pharmacist in oncology together with oncology-related services (eg, preparation of cytostatics) offered by the hospital pharmacy.
References and/or acknowledgements 1. E.M. Segal, et al. J Oncol Pharm Pract 2019.
Conflict of interest No conflict of interest
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