Industry insight

Too much time is spent building SACT regimens

Research by members of BOPA uncovers the clear need to streamline, standardise and share regimens across a national library.

Collaborative research with members of the British Oncology Pharmacist Association (BOPA) confirms the amount of pharmacy resource required – and duplicated – across oncology centres in the UK. With many tasks repeatedly taking very significant amounts of time, and that time duplicated across teams and organisations nationwide, the benefits of a centralised library are clear. As the research reveals: “On average a new protocol and EPMA build for a new drug takes 10 hours whilst a new protocol for an existing drug takes 6 hours”.

The findings of this research clearly demonstrate the pressure on pharmacy resource to facilitate the safe prescribing of newly approved treatments. This problem will only continue to amplify, as the number of patients and treatments available grow. The BOPA research states: “Since 2000 NICE has performed 292 technology appraisals resulting in 355 individual recommendations on cancer drugs. This has led to a positive approval rate of 74% for cancer drugs1. With an already stretched pharmacy workforce the resource required for each trust to develop protocols and electronic prescribing regimens is difficult to manage.”

Better built once

There is a clear need for a national protocol and electronic prescribing regimen library, that could save organisations an abundance of time. Pharmacists could use this time to be involved in direct patient care activities such as clinics.

BOPA should liaise with the National chemotherapy board and the “Just do it” national Aseptics programme to facilitate a national protocol build. Further work with NHS Digital and EPMA suppliers such as iQ HealthTech should be considered for a centralised regimen library from which electronic prescribing systems can exchange these regimens through HL7 interfaces.

Bastiaan Buijtenhuijs, member of the BOPA executive committee and Product Owner for iQ HealthTech said…

“Protocol writing and regimen build is a real resource drain for pharmacy Oncology teams. This duplicated resource could be spared through use of existing technology – we just need to embrace it and work together at a national level to make it happen”

Photograph of clinical staff working at a desktop computer

About iQ HealthTech

iQ HealthTech was established in 2011 by a founding-team of software developers and a practicing consultant oncologist. With a team of subject experts working across design, development, implentations and customer success, the company develops people-centric technology with the goal of improving patient outcomes, everywhere. The company delivers innovative Saas and standalone platforms, including iQemo – the industry-leading, end-to-end chemotherapy prescribing and management platform used by NHS and private hospitals in the UK, and a growing number of hospitals worldwide. Learn more

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About iQemo

iQemo, from iQHealthTech, provides specialist chemotherapy prescribing. A complete end-to-end solution that includes predefined regimens, prescribing, scheduling and dispensing, through to chemotherapy administration and reporting. iQemo is used in NHS Trusts and private hospitals in the UK, and in a growing number of hospitals worldwide. Learn More

About iQ HealthTech

iQ HealthTech was established in 2011 by a founding-team of software developers and a practicing consultant oncologist. With a team of subject experts working across design, development, implentations and customer success, the company develops people-centric technology with the goal of improving patient outcomes, everywhere. Learn more

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