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Survey of Interest in Future HOPA Standards/ White Papers: Summary of Results

Raj Duggal, PharmD BCOP
Oncology Clinical Pharmacist
IU Health-IU Simon Cancer Center
Indianapolis, IN

In February 2015, a survey was submitted to the HOPA membership to identify topics for future standards or white papers. This survey was prepared and reviewed by members of the Standards Committee.

The survey asked participants about practice setting, time in clinical practice, and their interest in a list of topics for future standard or white paper development. Survey participants also had the opportunity to identify additional topics of interest not listed in the survey.

Results: There were a total of 225 responses to this survey, capturing 10% of HOPA’s membership. The majority of respondents (65%) classified themselves as clinical oncology pharmacists; 31% had been in practice for less than 5 years and 23% for 5–10 years. Approximately 29% of survey participants listed their primary practice setting as hospital inpatient, while an additional 27% listed it as an ambulatory infusion center.

Given a list of potential topics for standard or white paper development, survey participants rated development of chemotherapy template standards/decision-making tools and dose rounding of chemotherapy/targeted therapy (average score of 4.08 and 3.89 out of 5, respectively). When asked to rate the two top priority projects for potential standard or white paper development, development of chemo- therapy template standards and decision-making tools, as well as dose rounding of chemotherapy/ targeted therapy, scored highest (47% and 38%, respectively). Additional lower-priority topics were considered, including pharmacist involvement in personalized medicine (36%), clinically relevant drug interactions between chemotherapy and complementary and alternative medicine (29%), oncology residency training clinical experiences (16%), drug triage in shortage situations (17%), pharmacy involvement in survivorship programs (13%), and fertility preservation and the involvement of pharmacists (3%).

When asked to provide additional potential topics, there were 31 suggestions that could be further categorized: oral chemotherapy (six responses), chemotherapy dosing (five responses), training/education (seven responses), administrative (six responses), and miscellaneous suggestions (seven responses). Requested topics included additional published guidance for dosing chemotherapy in special populations (e.g., obesity, organ dysfunction, age), benchmarking data for justification of additional pharmacist positions, and pharmacist involvement/ training in outpatient oral chemotherapy management.

Conclusions: This survey indicated that HOPA membership would prioritize standards or white paper creation for dose rounding of chemotherapy/targeted therapy and development of chemotherapy template standards and decision-making tools. After further review of currently available publications and standards, the Standards Committee and the HOPA Board of Directors recommended pursuing a white paper on dose rounding of chemotherapy and targeted agents since there is minimal published guidance. This paper would offer the greatest impact for the HOPA membership. The Standards Commit- tee will be meeting to further discuss this project.

Available resources for chemotherapy template standard and deci- sion-making tools include the National Comprehensive Cancer Net- work ( with disease-specific order set templates for purchase, the American Society of Clinical Oncology ( with staging guidelines for specific cancers, and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices ( with guidelines for standard order sets.

We thank the membership for your responses to this survey, as well as the individuals who developed, reviewed, and summarized the survey.