Reviewing IBD patients on biologic medicines.
Pharmacist Recognition Prize Winner
“A Three-Month Patient Review of Biologic Medicines for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).”
In reaction to there not being enough capacity for three-monthly clinics for biologics reviews, Mrs Travers set up her own weekly biologics clinic, starting in July 2022. She explains how patients were provided with both a clinical and holistic approach and asked questions within their review related to elements of their treatments such as side effects or other concerns they may have.
Mrs Travers explains:
“I assess symptoms, make dose adjustments and prescribe additional medications as needed and can refer on to other healthcare professionals including the Biologics MDT where necessary.
“To assess the impact of my clinics, I completed an audit and, using the collected data, I was able to establish that the rate of completion of 3-month reviews increased from 20.8% in 2020 (before the clinics started), to 67.8% in 2021 and 79.4% in 2022. This was despite a 64% increase in the number of patients commenced on biologic therapy from 72 in 2020 to 118 in 2021. This then stabilised to 107 in 2022.
The audit also provided a valuable opportunity to determine some useful data in other areas. For example, as requested by the Gastroenterology Consultants, I was able to report on clinical outcomes of the pharmacist-led biologics clinics and in 2022, I was also able to identify whether the biologics used were first-line agents or whether other agents had been tried previously thus identifying the quality of service we were providing.”
Why did you choose this project?
“As our prescribing of biologics in IBD has increased, we found that there was not enough capacity in the consultant-led clinics to manage the demand for the three-month biologics reviews as stipulated by the IBD Registry. It was therefore agreed amongst the team that I would run a biologics clinic once a week, starting in July 2022. As my post was newly created, I was able to mould and develop my role to meet the needs of the service.
Providing pharmacist-led biologics clinics has significantly improved the quality of the service that the IBD team provides. Many patients have commented how valuable they find being able to access a pharmacist. They also find it very reassuring that they will be reviewed regularly whilst on biologic medications as they are aware of the possible side effects. The number of patients who are non-compliant with blood test monitoring has also reduced as they are informed about the importance of regular blood test monitoring before they start treatment.
I have also recently begun a telephone clinic to complete initiation reviews and am exploring the appointment of a pharmacy technician who can help manage the homecare workload and free more of my time for clinical tasks.”
‘I am shocked and delighted to have won the inaugural pharmacist recognition prize. This role in IBD has reignited my passion for pharmacy and has allowed me to develop my skills and use my prescribing qualification in a rewarding way for both my own job satisfaction and the benefit of our patients. I am so fortunate to work with a team that can see the benefits a pharmacist can bring and who are supportive of developing the role further.
I hope this award will support me to help raise the profile of pharmacists working within gastroenterology and more specifically IBD. There is a wealth of experience and expertise available that can vastly improve service delivery and patient outcomes and it is great that our work will now be recognised on this level.’- Kate Travers