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Pharmacist Awareness Month: Think Research Partners

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Tom McFarlane in front of computers. Think Pharmacists. Think Research Partners.

March is Pharmacy Awareness Month and the School of Pharmacy is encouraging others to think about the many roles pharmacists play, including the role of research partner.

Clinical lecturer Tom McFarlane was an oncology pharmacist at Cambridge Memorial Hospital before joining Waterloo Pharmacy. Given this expertise, McFarlane is collaborating on a pilot project that aims to make cancer appointments easier for patients.

The project is run with Grand River Hospital and the Ontario Telemedicine Network and explores using teleconferencing to increase convenience of follow-up care for patients with cancer. Many cancer patients receive medication in pill form instead of requiring in-hospital therapy. Follow-up appointments are essential to monitor medication effects, and in the pilot study these appointments are conducted using videoconferencing software.

“By videoconferencing follow-up appointments, the patient stays in the comfort of their home while consulting with pharmacists and registered nurses,” explains McFarlane. “We perform clinical assessments and the patients respond to questions. Our study will examine if patients are satisfied with this process and will assess the feasibility of cancer care via telemedicine.”

The project is one of many research initiatives Waterloo Pharmacy faculty engage in with health and research institutions like Grand River Hospital. It is supported by Grand River Hospital Foundation.

“As both pharmacists and researchers, we’re able to provide a unique blend of expertise and skills that produce findings that benefit Canadian patients,” says McFarlane.

The Think Pharmacists series is issued by the School of Pharmacy for #PAM2018.

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