In recent years, the delivery of cancer treatment has shifted dramatically from intravenous medications to a surge of oral oncolytics. In 2017, more than half of all novel cancer drugs approved by the FDA were oral oncolytics, and nine additional oral oncolytics were approved in 2018. In response, oncology practices have begun dispensing drugs in-house in large numbers, with an estimated 50 percent of US community oncology practices establishing in-house pharmacies as of 2016. Over the same period, the practice of pharmacy has seen a shift as well from a focus on medication distribution to offering expanded, clinically-oriented patient care services.
As growing numbers of pharmacists join coordinated healthcare providers within community oncology practices, documenting patient interactions and ensuring that pharmacy records can be accessed and shared via EMR is vital to patient-centricity.
Pharmacy care plans can serve as a standard framework for maintaining centralized documentation of patient interactions and help foster a patient-centric approach to care. Serving as a step-by-step plan of action, a pharmacy care plan can help to ensure that medication monitoring and patient follow-up are taking place.
Stacy McDaniel, PharmD, is a clinical consultant for VitalSource GPO with more than 10 years of expertise in developing both oral and IV chemotherapy treatment plans. At Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, she led oral dispensing programs and the creation of pharmacy care plans for patient management. We spoke with Stacy about the value pharmacy care plans offer, how they can help contribute to improved adherence and how to implement an automated care plan through prescription software platforms.