Vancouver, BC

LGH Chemo Pharmacy Team

LGH Chemo Pharmacy Team

LGH Chemo Pharmacy Team

Dawn Warkentin (Clinical Pharmacy Specialist)
Anderson Wong (Pharmacist)
Brian Kim (Pharmacist)
Mitra Moadebi (Pharmacist)
Johanna Neilens (Pharmacist)
Frankee Fuentes (Pharmacy Technician)
Gabi Nagyova (Pharmacy Technician)
Patricia Lo (Pharmacy Technician)
Roy Yuen (Pharmacy Technician)
Eun Heo (Pharmacy Technician)
Lona Jakobsen (Pharmacy Technician)

Photo: Left to right: Mitra Moadebi, Brian Kim, Anderson Wong, Dawn Warkentin, Gabi Nagyova, Frankee Fuentes
(not in photograph: Johanna Neilens, Roy Yuen, Patricia Lo, Eun Heo, Lona Jakobsen)

Lions Gate Hospital

Profile submitted by:
Brian Kim

Brief description of role or responsibilities

Dispense oral and parenteral drugs for oncology patients at the LGH Oncology Outpatient Clinic. Mix parenteral drugs in chemotherapy hood using sterile techniques. Provide teachings for the patients starting on the new chemotherapy regimen.

Description of roles to improve patient care or provide pharmacy services during the COVID-19 pandemic

To ensure safety of the oncology patients who are more vulnerable to infections compared to non-cancer patients, LGH Chemo Dispensary started couriering oral cancer treatments to patients’ home. This not only helped the patients practice proper social distancing but also alleviated their anxiety and fear of coming to the hospital.

Providing teachings to the patients without face-to-face interaction on their complex chemotherapy regimens was not easy.(i.e. titrating dose regimen, chemo regimen involving multiple strengths of medications, cyclical treatments) To add to the challenge, LGH Chemo Clinic has been quarantined from the rest of the hospital which meant providing face-to-face teachings for in-patients was not possible either.T o overcome this obstacle, the Clinical Pharmacy Specialist organized a take-home package consisting of lab requisition and a counselling summary of the medication in patient-friendly language. The package was helpful for the patients and also great resource for non-oncology staff on the acute care wards.

LGH Chemo pharmacy team members were also heroes when it came to managing drug shortages. Tamoxifen and hydroxyurea were on long term backorder for several months last year and more than 200 patients were affected by this. Shortage of medications meant more frequent fills with smaller quantity which significantly increased the volume of refill prescriptions. Despite these challenges, pharmacy team managed to dispense those medications with minimum interruptions by making frequent follow up calls to the patients and utilizing Excel spreadsheets to keep track of inventory and each patient’s remaining supply at home.

Description of impact to improve patient care or provide pharmacy services during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic was especially difficult time for the patients at the LGH Chemo Clinic who were mostly elderly and very anxious about coming to the hospital. LGH Chemo pharmacy was able to provide emotional support/reassurance to the patients during this time. Despite many challenges, LGH Chemo Pharmacy team members managed to provide effective and safe medication teaching and uninterrupted dispensing service. Many cancer patients at LGH showed appreciation and one of the patients made a donation to the LGH Foundation expressing gratitude to the services provided by the chemo pharmacy. Last Christmas, pharmacy and all departments of the chemo clinic were showered with endless boxes of chocolate from many thankful patients (all pre-packaged to meet COVID social restrictions)