Clinical Topics & News

Impact of Pharmacist-Driven Telemedicine Services in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) Long-term Care Clinic in a Veteran Population


 

Background

Patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) are high-risk patients with complex medication regimens, including anti-rejection medications, infection prophylaxis, other post-transplant complication prophylaxis in addition to their chronic medications for co-morbid conditions. At the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS), there are 3 stages of care once a patient receives an allogeneic transplant: inpatient transplant (through engraftment), outpatient posttransplant (through day +100), and long-term care (LTC) transplant (post-departure from the transplant facility). Currently, TVHS has 2 Clinical Pharmacist Practitioners (CPP) involved in the inpatient and outpatient settings. The purpose of this quality improvement initiative was to evaluate the impact of pharmacist services on continuity of care for longterm HSCT patients, vaccine completion rates, and immunosuppression/chemotherapy monitoring.

Methods

Patients were identified for enrollment based on a referral from a CPP, nurse practitioner (NP), or physician (MD). Patients with a history of allogeneic transplant were automatically referred from the CPP at departure and scheduled for a 2-week and 6-week post-departure visit. During these visits, the pharmacist conducted a medication reconciliation, assessed for medication errors or lapses in therapy, and provided medication counseling deemed necessary by clinical judgement. In addition to these 2 medication reconciliation visits, patients were also automatically scheduled for a vaccine assessment 6-months post-transplant. Pharmacy interventions from these visits were recorded in pre-specified categories. In addition to these predetermined visits, patients with complex medication regimens or undergoing significant changes could also be referred by either the NP or MD.

Results

A total of 18 patients were enrolled in the CPP clinic from October 2021 through May 2022. During this period, 42 visits were completed as each patient was seen multiple times (mean number of visits 1.8). A total of 16 medication errors/lapses were identified and addressed. The most common types of interventions included medication reconciliation (42), adherence counseling (39), general medication interventions (26), and vaccine interventions (20).

Conclusions

This pharmacist-driven telemedicine service incorporated into the long-term care HSCT clinic demonstrated benefit in identifying and addressing medication errors/lapses. Further study including the impact on patient outcomes such as hospital readmissions post-transplant, could strengthen the importance of pharmacy involvement in this setting.

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