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Dr Stacey McCullough on the Pharmacist's Role in Patient Education

With more oncology patients receiving oral therapies, the pharmacist plays an important role in patient education and follow-up, said Stacey McCullough, PharmD, senior vice president of pharmacy at Tennessee Oncology.


What is the pharmacist’s role in initial patient education and follow-up?

At Tennessee Oncology, our pharmacists are the primary point for all of the initial oral oncolytic therapy education. We utilize manufacturer kits and we try to schedule enough time with the patient so that we can go over all the specifics of the care plan for that specific drug with the patient. We want to ask open-ended questions and ensure that they get all of their questions answered and ensure that the way we are delivering information is being interpreted and understood and fully comprehended to set the patient up for their best possible outcome.

How does collaboration and teamwork benefit care transition for patients?

Collaboration is so important, especially in oncology today. With patients receiving oral therapies, the pharmacy may be their bridge correlation to how the nurse was that bridge for IV therapy. The pharmacy is now gonna play that role in monitoring the patient, doing the proactive phone calls as well as the refill calls. So, how we’re able to get that information back into the care teams, be it the provider or the nurse, to facilitate that one point of contact for the patient and ensure that they know they can have all their questions answered and having that continuum of care is very important.

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