Implementing Ambulatory Workload Metrics into Workspace Brings Benefits to Pharmacists, Technicians

The objective of the study was to design and implement a useful tool to record ambulatory metrics that is reportable and can be easily integrated into the clinical workflow.

Developing an ambulatory workload tool for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will show an increased percentage of ambulatory pharmacist time captured, according to a poster presentation at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Specialty Pharmacy Conference.

The objective of the study was to design and implement a useful tool to record ambulatory metrics that is reportable and can be easily integrated into the clinical workflow. The team created a working group, which included 4 frontline clinical pharmacists, pharmacy leadership, a member of the electronic health record team, and a member of the reporting team at the University of Virginia. An ambulatory practice retreat and a Qualtrics survey were used to gather feedback from the rest of the ambulatory pharmacists. Additionally, a flowsheet was created and submitted to the electronic health record team.

Monthly meetings were held to look over any changes needed to the tool, including a supplemental handbook, and the go-live for the electronic tool was March 15, 2021. Data were then collected from that date to June 28, 2021.

The results showed that in ambulatory pharmacy, the most time was spent on assessments (5265 hours), following education (4803 hours), clinical interventions (3393 hours), care coordination (732 hours), and cost savings (251 hours). Out of the 35 users, who were pharmacists and pharmacy residents, 10 main populations were served:

  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Post discharge interactive home monitoring
  • Solid organ transplant
  • HIV
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Digestive health
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Rheumatology

The researchers concluded that pharmacist feedback highlights the ease of incorporating this tool into the daily workflow even within different clinic settings. The report was noted as being useful to pharmacy leaders to help assess workload and workforce needs, with its ability of collecting accurate data can support internal benchmarking.

The next steps with this tool are to develop one for clinical pharmacy technicians. Limitations of the system include its inability to capture 100% of the time spent for pharmacists, because it only captures a patient encounter, according to the authors.

REFERENCE

Cho C, Jenkins M, DiPirro N. Design and Implementation of Pharmacy Ambulatory Workload Metrics at an Academic Medical Center. University of Virginia Health. Presented at: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Specialty Pharmacist Conference. July 14, 2021. Accessed July 15, 2021.