Aim: To implement and evaluate virtual cancer pharmacy education sessions across an international, multi-site, cancer pharmacy service organisation.
Methods: 20 pharmacy sites with cancer services across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore participated in the pilot between February 2017 – 2018. Weekly education sessions were scheduled for 30 minutes and pharmacist presenters were allocated from all sites. Skype for Business was the virtual meeting platform and each session was recorded as a voice-over PowerPoint presentation. A SharePoint page was developed, allowing the schedule, CPD record, recorded presentations and resources to be uploaded and accessible. Presentations were categorised as either ‘Clinical’ or ‘Non-Clinical’. Data was collected from the SharePoint page on the number of presentations, number of attendees to live sessions, and the total number of hits per recorded presentation. In March 2018, a feedback survey was conducted to assess the perceived effectiveness of the program delivery, barriers to attending the live education sessions and the accessibility of the SharePoint page.
Results: 47 presentations were delivered during the study period, 81% were ‘Clinical’, 19% ‘Non-Clinical’. Average number of attendees (live session and SharePoint hits) was 25 with a range between 12 and 83. The most popular presentations, identified by number of hits and live attendees, were ‘Drug Interactions’ and ‘Management of Cancer Related Fatigue’ with 83 and 71 respectively. Of the 21 survey respondents, 42% reported the program ‘very effective’, and 48% reported ‘effective’ in meeting their development goals. Respondents indicated that workforce shortages were a barrier to attending live sessions (43%), followed by timing of the sessions (29%). 14% accessed the online presentations ‘often’, 57% ‘sometimes’ and 29% ‘never’.
Conclusion: Virtual cancer pharmacy education sessions were successfully implemented across 20 hospital pharmacy sites and the majority of survey respondents perceived them to be ‘very effective’ in meeting their development goals.