Our Department of Pharmacy Services handles all prescription and supplement needs on-site at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA).
With the electronic health records (EHR) system, our pharmacy processes are completely paperless. This helps to ensure accuracy and control in medication delivery. Working from one comprehensive medical record for each patient also helps to improve safety. The prescriptions are usually delivered to you within 10 to 45 minutes. You and your family members/caregivers can also drop off and pick up supplements right on the premises.
There are two pharmacies at our hospital:
Our retail pharmacy offers prescription medications and supplements, based on the recommendations of your oncologist, naturopathic clinician and/or pain management clinician.
The retail pharmacy staff, along with our naturopathic clinicians, have developed guidelines for reviewing and dispensing all prescription and supplement products. We look for drug-drug interactions and drug-herb interactions and make sure that every supplement prescribed is safe and won’t interfere with a patient’s treatment regimen.
A separate pharmacy near/in the hospital's Infusion Center mixes chemotherapeutic drugs and other intravenous medications. At the Hospital Pharmacy, chemotherapy treatment is prepared based on individualized dose requirements for each patient. Prior to mixing your chemotherapy, our pharmacists will review your lab results to make sure you can tolerate the prescribed dose and that it's the most appropriate drug for your particular health state.
Using this information, our pharmacists will work with your oncologists to determine the best chemotherapy schedule and delivery method. They also check for any drug interactions and recommend additional medications to help to prevent or reduce chemotherapy- and medication-related side effects.
The team at the Hospital Pharmacy is devoted to patient safety. Each medication goes through stringent safety tests before it reaches the patient. Safety regulations consist of an extensive double-check chemotherapy order verification process, which requires two pharmacists to evaluate patient-specific information, such as lab results, past treatment and organ dysfunction, in order to evaluate prescribed dosages.
Throughout your care, you will likely have questions about your medications and any anticancer drugs you are receiving, such as chemotherapy. The pharmacy team will interact regularly with your doctor, and with you and your family members to help answer your questions and educate you on the safe use of medications.
The pharmacy team at Southwestern
The pharmacists at CTCA at Southwestern Regional Medical Center (Southwestern) come from varied pharmaceutical backgrounds, including oncology, retail pharmacies, hospital and outpatient settings. This wide variety of experience in different pharmaceutical settings allows the team to combine its knowledge to best meet your needs.
Led by Director of Pharmacy Jeff Newhouse, pharmacists and certified pharmacy technicians mix all of the chemotherapy medications and IVs. Pharmacy staff members also include: a clinical coordinator, clinical pharmacist and Doctors of Pharmacy (also known as PharmDs). Two of the pharmacists are certified in anticoagulation (i.e., medication used to prevent blood clotting).
The Pharmacy team at Southwestern is extremely focused on patient safety. Each medication is ordered and processed with several safety checks.
In Spring 2010, Southwestern became the first hospital in Oklahoma and the first CTCA hospital to implement the DoseEdge™ Pharmacy Workflow Manager. DoseEdge revolutionizes the way pharmacy medications are filled by increasing patient safety, reducing mistakes, improving workflow, and minimizing waste.
With the DoseEdge system, the pharmacy technician follows steps outlined in the system to mix the drugs. The technician scans each vial and bag to verify that it matches with the order in the system before proceeding with the dose and directions. If the medications don’t match the system or if the technician tries to fill the order too early, DoseEdge will not allow the technician to continue.
After accurately completing the order, the technician places the filled medication on a platform, which takes a photo and sends it to the pharmacist to check for accuracy. Once the pharmacist approves the drug, it can safely be given to the patient.
DoseEdge provides increased patient safety by ensuring that the right drug mix and volume matches the order every time, and it reduces waste by ensuring that drugs can’t be mixed too early.
“With DoseEdge, the Southwestern Pharmacy is able to provide better quality labels while increasing our error avoidance," says Newhouse. "As we continue to modify and improve this great new offering, we’re confident that this system will help keep safety high for our patients."
The Retail Pharmacy is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends.
The Inpatient Pharmacy is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends. A pharmacist is on-call for all other hours.