In a publication in the Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice, researchers conducted a nationwide survey to gain more knowledge about oncology infusion pharmacy services.

The authors indicated that infusion-based oncology care is expanding at a swift pace and there is an absence of a measurement system encompassing oncology infusion centers and pharmacy practice. As a result, the workgroup conducted a nationwide survey to learn more about the services offered by oncology-based infusion pharmacy services.

The authors wrote, “The objective was to highlight consistent, measurable oncology-based infusion pharmacy metrics that will provide a foundation to describe overall productivity including an emphasis on high patient-safety standards.”

Originating in April 2019, a nationwide survey was generated via a workgroup within the Vizient Pharmacy Cancer Care Group, and from September to November 2020, the survey was conducted electronically via the Vizient Pharmacy Network. The survey was created to gather information on several fundamental metrics associated with oncology-based infusion pharmacy services.

The results revealed that 41 sites responded to the survey, and the answers highlighted hours of operation (median = 11.5) and number of infusion chairs (median = 45). The authors reported that “Staffing metrics included 7.1 pharmacist full-time equivalent (FTE) and 7.6 technician FTE per week; 80.5% of sites had cleanrooms, and 95.1% reported both hazardous and nonhazardous compounding hoods; 68.3% of sites reported using intravenous (IV) technology, 50.0% measured turnaround time, and 31.4% prepared treatment medications in advance.”

Based on their findings, the authors indicated variability among the oncology infusion pharmacy practices that participated in the survey. They also noted that the survey results accentuate the necessity for standardization of established productivity metrics across oncology infusion pharmacies to enhance efficiency and contain costs in the transforming oncology landscape.

The authors wrote, “The survey provides insight into oncology infusion pharmacy practices nationwide and provides information for pharmacy leaders to help guide their practices.” 

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