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BMC Health Serv Res ; 23(1): 136, 2023 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2238373


INTRODUCTION: A new dosing schedule for the oncology immunotherapy pembrolizumab, every 6 weeks (Q6W), has been approved by the U.S. FDA, reducing the frequency of visits to infusion centers. We quantified the time spent by oncologists, nurses, patients, and caregivers per melanoma-related immunotherapy infusion visit to evaluate its potential impact. METHODS: Surveys were self-completed by 100 oncologists, 101 oncology nurses, and 100 patients with melanoma across the U.S. to quantify the time spent per infusion visit with pembrolizumab (Q3W or Q6W), nivolumab (Q2W or Q4W), or nivolumab+ipilimumab (nivolumab in combination: Q3W; nivolumab maintenance: Q2W or Q4W). Time measures included traveling, waiting, consultation, infusion, post-treatment observation, and caregiving. Respondents were also surveyed regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on infusion treatments. RESULTS: Responses deemed valid were provided by 89 oncologists, 93 nurses, and 100 patients. For each new [returning] patient treated with pembrolizumab, nivolumab or nivolumab+ipilimumab, oncologists reported to spend an average of 90 [64], 87 [60] and 101 [69] minutes per infusion visit (p-value for between-group difference = 0.300 [0.627]). For first [subsequent] treatment cycles, nurses reported spending 160 [145] average minutes per visit for nivolumab+ipilimumab, versus roughly 120 [110] for the single agents (p-value for between-group difference = 0.018 [0.022]). Patients reported to spend an average of 263, 382, and 224 minutes per visit at the center for pembrolizumab (N = 47), nivolumab (n = 34), and nivolumab+ipilimumab (n = 15) respectively (p-value for between-group difference = 0.0002). Patients also reported that their unpaid (N = 20) and paid caregivers (N = 41) spent with them an average of 966 and 333 minutes, respectively, from the day before to the day after the infusion visit. CONCLUSION: Less frequent immunotherapy infusion visits may result in substantial time savings for oncologists, nurses, patients, and caregivers.

COVID-19 , Melanoma , Humans , United States , Nivolumab/therapeutic use , Ipilimumab/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Melanoma/drug therapy , Immunotherapy , Health Personnel , Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol Nurs ; : 27527530221140067, 2023 Feb 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2243915


Background: Many health care organizations offer pediatric infusions in outpatient infusion centers or, as in our organization, in a hospital-based outpatient Pediatric Infusion Therapy Center (PITC). When restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic decreased our PITC appointment capacity by 40%, other patient and family satisfaction issues were exacerbated. We implemented a new approach to pediatric infusions with the aim of improving patient and family satisfaction and reducing the amount of time in an appointment itinerary without negatively affecting patient safety. Methods: Our team used a phased approach to pilot the administration of short chemotherapy infusions in the same outpatient clinic examination rooms where consultation and routine office visits were conducted. Patients saw their specialist for an examination and, if clinically indicated, their infusion was administered in the same room. Appointment itineraries were then completed. The team tracked efficiency, satisfaction, and safety metrics related to the new process. Results: All efficiency metrics improved. No harm came to the 49 unique patients who received a total of 184 infusions. Patient appointment itineraries were shortened by an average of 1.03 hr. Satisfaction survey responses indicated a clear preference (93%) for the new process. Discussion: The novel approach of offering short infusions in outpatient clinic examination rooms provides an opportunity to ease capacity constraints and further increase patient and family satisfaction. This method may be especially helpful for health care organizations when external influences (e.g., lack of physical space, challenging patient volumes, and pandemics) necessitate a change.

JCO Oncol Pract ; 18(8): e1278-e1288, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009664


PURPOSE: To evaluate the prevalence of burnout among hematology-oncology pharmacists and factors associated with an increased risk of high burnout. METHODS: Between October and November 2020, members of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association were invited to complete an anonymous survey. Questions included the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Well-Being Index, and sociodemographic and occupational factors linked with burnout. RESULTS: Of 3,024 pharmacists contacted, 614 pharmacists (20.3%) responded to an online survey and 550 (18.2% of overall sample) completed the MBI and were included for analysis. Overall, high levels of burnout were observed in 61.8% of respondents based on the MBI, with 57.9% of respondents scoring high on the emotional exhaustion domain and 31.3% high in the depersonalization domain. Pharmacists with burnout worked on average 48.6 (±9.6) hours per week compared with 44.5 (±9.6) hours per week for those without high burnout and spent more time on administrative tasks per week (7.5 hours v 4.3 hours; all P < .001). Pharmacists reporting high burnout were more likely to report concern they had made a major medication error within the past 3 months (27.6% v 8.1%; P < .001) and greater intent to leave their current job within 2 years (60.3% v 19.0%; P < .001). CONCLUSION: Burnout is prevalent among hematology-oncology pharmacists and may affect both patient safety and the adequacy of the workforce. Risk factors for burnout among hematology-oncology pharmacists in this study may be targets for burnout mitigation and prevention strategies to reduce the impact on pharmacists and improve cancer care for patients.

Burnout, Professional , Hematology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Burnout, Psychological , Humans , Job Satisfaction , Pharmacists/psychology