Specialized Pharmacy Oncology Technician: EVALUATION OF THE SPOT


An evaluation of the SPOT is necessary to ensure patient safety and also to ensure that the duties performed by the technician are consistent with the standards that would be expected if the same duties were performed by a pharmacist. A formal evaluation process was still in development at the time this article was prepared, in late 2009. Ongoing quality assurance of the SPOT will be based on the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) guidelines for delegation of functions to pharmacy technicians. However, some of the duties that the SPOT has undertaken go beyond those outlined in the current CSHP guidelines. The SPOT will be evaluated with respect to accuracy of recording laboratory data, ability to adhere to departmental policies and procedures when printing PharmaNet profiles, accuracy of pharmaceutical and chemotherapy calculations, appropriate referral of questions and concerns to a pharmacist, appropriate response to drug information requests, accuracy of documentation related to patient counselling, and ability to communicate with patients. It is intended that, initially, the manager should evaluate the progress and performance of the SPOT weekly, with input from the oncology nurse and physician, and identifies areas for improvement.

The weekly performance reviews conducted to date indicate that the SPOT has collected laboratory data accurately and has correctly followed policies and procedures for printing PharmaNet profiles. However, some mistakes have been made in pharmaceutical calculations, and the oncology working group has suggested that a pre-established formula be set up in the pharmacy computer for double-checking calculations. In addition, the group has suggested a review of the appropriateĀ­ness of having the technician provide counselling to patients. For example, in interviewing patients, the SPOT should avoid asking questions about use of pre-chemotherapy medications if the chemotherapy infusion has already been started.
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