Pharmacy Times an interview with Dapo Amosu, MS, PharmD, DPLA, about his thoughts on how to advance medication use processes in inpatient and outpatient settings, the role of the pharmacist in inpatient and outpatient settings, and the role technology and artificial intelligence may play in the future. to the forefront in pharmacy data processing. Amosu entered his new role as chief pharmacy officer at Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase) in Philadelphia on August 7, 2023.
About the Expert
Dapo Amosu, MS, PharmD, DPLA, began his tenure Aug. 7 as chief pharmacy officer at Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase) in Philadelphia. In addition to overseeing the drug use process in both the inpatient and ambulatory care settings, Amosu will serve on key committees within Fox Chase, such as the Research Review Committee and Performance Improvement Committee, and will also represent Fox Chase in the broader oncology arena, including as members of the National Guidelines Committees comprehensive cancer network and the Alliance of Specialty Cancer Centers Committee of Pharmacy Directors. Will work closely and collaborate with clinicians, senior management and cross-departmental colleagues on pharmacy programs and related patient care services, including pharmacy service delivery, state of relevant technology and equipment, and patient safety issues.
Amosu has over 25 years of pharmacy experience with experience in hematology/oncology pharmacy, clinical research and pharmacy management. He most recently directed oncology clinical pharmacy services for Beebe Healthcare in Southern Delaware and prior to that spent nearly 10 years at Medstar-Georgetown University Hospital – Vince Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC, in oncology and research pharmacy services roles. During the latter role, he also served as an adjunct clinical professor at the Howard University School of Pharmacy. Amosu received his BS in Pharmacy and PharmD from Howard University and holds a Health-System Pharmacy Administration from The Ohio State University.
Pharmacy Times: As you step into this role as Chief Pharmacy Officer, what challenges do you see as key to advancing the inpatient and outpatient medication use processes at Fox Chase facilities?
Magic: The medicines use process is a fundamental system that provides the necessary framework for the safe use of medicines within the health system. Oncology care is typically delivered in a complex environment, and the safe use of medications remains one of the paramount factors in providing care to our patients. Every effort must be made to ensure the safe use of medication. Putting the necessary safeguards in place to ensure that ongoing supply chain disruptions do not negatively impact our drug use process is a critical issue that we will continue to address.
Clinical pharmacy specialists in all patient care settings play a vital role in ensuring that our patients continue to receive the most effective treatment; their participation in multidisciplinary treatment coordination, involvement in transition of care and continuity of care processes, and prevention of inappropriate medication use that can potentially lead to patient harm, suboptimal health outcomes, and increased costs of care is critical to advancing the medication use process.
Incorporating the pharmacy specialist into a clinically oriented, multidisciplinary team practice model produces good treatment outcomes and prevents suboptimal health outcomes. Fox Chase is committed to ensuring these services are provided by our pharmacy team as we develop strategies to address the recruitment and retention challenges of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. We will continue to use available technology, including automation, to optimize the delivery of pharmaceutical services to advance every aspect of medication use processes.
Pharmacy Times: How has the role of the pharmacist in inpatient and outpatient settings changed in recent years, and what else would you like to see the role develop?
Magic: The role of pharmacists in patient care continues to evolve in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Some of the emerging roles of pharmacists in the inpatient setting include the pharmacy’s participation in the transition of care (TOC), which focuses on the continuity of care for the patient from hospital to home after discharge and vice versa.
TOC pharmacists reconcile patient medication records to prevent medication errors, ensure continuity of care and reduce readmission rates. Studies have shown that the TOC pharmacy program reduces 30-day hospital readmission rates by 14.5%.
Medication safety pharmacists are also essential in all healthcare settings. They identify gaps in the medication use process by analyzing medication safety reports and identify opportunities to improve medication safety, including changes in prescribing practices. The role of the pharmacist in the program to optimize acute oncology care in pharmacies will continue to expand; this includes selecting the best treatment plans and appropriate supportive care agent(s), patient education, and monitoring and managing treatment-related adverse events (AEs).
Pharmacy Times: What is the role of the pharmacist in patient care today in the inpatient and outpatient settings at Temple University Hospital (TUH)?
Magic: Our pharmacists are actively involved in all aspects of the medication use process, developing clinical interventions and therapy recommendations to improve patient outcomes, as well as participating in the development and implementation of practice guidelines within the TUH system. Their role focuses on providing safe, effective, patient-centred pharmaceutical services. Their scope of practice has expanded to include coordination of care within their respective multidisciplinary team and continuity of care beyond the hospital stay.
Pharmacy Times: How is Fox Chase currently affected by supply chain challenges and how is it responding to these challenges?
Magic: Shortages of medicines, including intravenous solutions, continue to plague healthcare systems. Despite the challenges this supply chain disruption presents, FCCC continues to meet the pharmaceutical needs of our patients. We are able to accomplish this by implementing best practice recommendations that include therapeutic switching, dose adjustment, conversion from IV to oral when appropriate, and change of route of administration, intermittent infusion to IV push. In limited cases, we have worked with our multidisciplinary team to revise treatment plans to make additional treatment options available to our patients. All of these were implemented without interrupting care delivery or compromising the quality of treatment delivered.
Pharmacy Times: How did your experience at a private outpatient cancer center help shape your perspective on your work at Fox Chase Cancer Center?
Magic: Challenges in practice are similar in the two settings, including the economic burden (financial toxicity) experienced by cancer patients from treatment costs.
Cancer care and treatment continues to move into the outpatient and community hospital space. Many chemotherapy regimens that were previously administered in an inpatient setting are now safely administered in the outpatient setting, and the importance of ensuring the safe administration of these regimens in this rapidly changing environment cannot be overemphasized. The number of patients receiving chemotherapy services through the Fox Chase – TUH network continues to grow as we strive to meet the needs of our patients and expand our reach into the immediate communities. Our goal is to ensure that we provide effective pharmaceutical care safely and efficiently.
Pharmacy Times: What is your view of the future we are heading towards as the role of technology and artificial intelligence comes to the fore in pharmacy data processing?
Magic: Technology continues to positively impact all steps in the medication-taking process. Artificial intelligence is used in many areas of the healthcare system to prevent medication errors and as a predictive analytics tool to manage treatment outcomes, medication inventory and medication adherence; it may also help to predict the severity of AEs based on available patient genetic information. Artificial intelligence will be very useful in choosing the “most cost-effective regimen”, especially for high-cost treatment options. Some of these attributes will directly or indirectly lead to a reduction in hospitalizations.
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