HOPA 2018 | The role of the clinical pharmacy specialist in advancing clinical research

Judith Smith

The importance of the clinical pharmacy specialist is often understated. Here, Judith Smith, PharmD, BCOP, CPHQ, FCCP, FISOPP, of UTHealth McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX, describes how these specialists play a key role in improving patient outcomes through advancing clinical research in areas such as quality improvement research. Dr Smith was speaking from the 2018 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Annual Conference, held in Denver, CO.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

The role of the clinical pharmacy specialist is continuing to evolve over time, and there’s many different roles that we play. Patient care is always a primary important factor, but for career development, for career fulfilment and to really advance patient care.
Contributing to the research is important, especially oncology where, even though we’ve made up quite a few advances, we still have a lot of ground to cover. We’re not curing all cancers yet, and so that’s really where pharmacy can play a big role, in a collaborative research program, initiating their own directed research program, and just taking that opportunity to advance their career and contribute to future drug outcomes and drug therapies, improving what we’re doing.
A big area of research we talked about today is quality improvement research. Pharmacists can have a huge role in that arena, optimizing medication utilization, reducing cost or avoiding drug interactions, reducing toxicity to avoid hospitalization or ER visits. There’s a huge role that pharmacy can play in intervening to help improve the oncology patient care.

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