Official European Society of Oncology Pharmacy Blog
Building the First ELearning Paediatric Oncology Clinical Pharmacy Programme for Developing Countries
O Hassanain1, N Adel2, M Kamal1, S Abouelnaga3, A Samir AlFaar1
1Children’s Cancer Hospital 57357 – Egypt, Research, Cairo, Egypt 2Children’s Cancer Hospital 57357 – Egypt, Pharmaceutical Services, Cairo, Egypt
3Children’s Cancer Hospital 57357 – Egypt, VP Aacademic Affairs Research and Outreach, Cairo, Egypt
Introduction: In the past few years the roles and responsibilities of clinical pharmacists have expanded dramatically. The need for a professional development programme became compelling, especially with the growing demands of qualified pharmacists. The demand is even more pressing in Africa and the developing world. High turnover rate of the trainees in our centre, higher mobility costs and shortage of experts that can conduct training in Africa renders face- to-face courses not cost-effective. At Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357 (CCHE), the clinical pharmacy practice is one of the pillars of success of patient care where its integration in the multidisciplinary treatment team has helped in improving the patients outcome and minimizing medication error in addition to offering better management and prevention of adverse events. Realizing the global vision and mission of CCHE as a learning organization and a leader in the clinical pharmacy in the Middle East we decided to develop online courses that deliver the tutorial part and act as continuously updated reference.
Material and methods: Planning for this course was initiated by the oncology pharmacists at the Research Department in collaboration with the Department of Pharmaceutical Services (DPS) at CCHE. The curriculum was designed based on the domains that were delineated by US Board of Pharmacy Specialties Council on Oncology Pharmacy and the recommendations of the ESMO/ASCO Task Force on Global Curriculum in Medical Oncology. Modifications were done on the programme to conform with Paediatric Oncology needs. The team consisted of a programme leader, qualified oncology pharmacists and e-learning experts. The course team decided to initiate the programme in a blended learning approach with face to face lectures and supplementary online discussions, tutorials, links, and quizzes. Each lecture was recorded and made available online to complete the full online modules. Later offerings were conducted totally online. Open source delivery portal was used to reduce the costs.Pre- and Post-course assessments were conducted to evaluate the trainees performance and satisfaction.
Results and discussions: Initially, we had enrolled 20 clinical pharmacists and 10 research pharmacists for 6 months. Our programme helped the staff to become more confident and competent practitioners equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet current and future challenges facing Oncology Pharmacy practice.We invited pharmacy practitioners from other centres in Alexandria (far north) and Assiut (far south) in Egypt in addition to our colleagues from other African countries like Sierra Leone, Kenya, Tanzania and Morocco to join the programme.
Conclusion: Due to the low number of practitioners in the field of paediatric oncology clinical pharmacy, training programmes can be conducted online to connect practitioners and provide training for underprivileged countries.