The TCIDA pharmacy is staffed by two pharmacists who are clinical specialists: both are BCPS (Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist). A TCIDA pharmacist reviews each order before it is formulated. In comparison, a traditional office infusion center typically does not have a staff pharmacist, so a nurse mixes the infusion then administers it.
The following Q & A session with TCIDA Pharmacy Manager Stephanie Hagan, PharmD, BCPS, provides insight into what makes the TCIDA pharmacy unique.
How does having an in-house pharmacy benefit the patient?
There are several benefits to having a pharmacy in-house, including:
- Coordination of Care: The patient doesn’t have to worry about whether the pharmacy knows what the doctor is doing, or vice versa. TCIDA coordinates, monitor and administers all aspects of the infusion service.
- Convenience: If the doctor wants to start the patient on an IV medication the patient does not have to go anywhere else. TCIDA takes care of everything from placing the infusion line to getting the patient’s medications to providing great nursing care. Similarly, if the patient is already seeing the doctor and needs a refill or new order, the patient doesn’t have to make a separate trip. TCIDA integrates the patient’s nursing and pharmacy visits with the doctor visits. TCIDA also provides delivery to the patient’s home or wherever he/she is staying.
- Access to a Pharmacist: The patient always has the opportunity to ask the TCIDA pharmacist questions.
- Efficiency: TCIDA strives to minimize wait times by preparing medications as much as possible prior to the patient’s arrival.
- Assistance with Payment: TCIDA regularly works with patients to set up payment plans once their insurance has determined the medication cost.
What is unique about the TCIDA pharmacy facility?
The TCIDA pharmacy is located in the TCIDA Fort Worth office building, completed in August 2018. The TCIDA pharmacy was designed by the pharmacists and physicians to have all of the latest updates and to be 797 compliant. The pharmacy has two state-of-the-art new cleanrooms: a regular cleanroom and a hazardous meds cleanroom (sometimes referred to as a chemo room). TCIDA is unique in the Fort Worth area because it has both a pharmacy and multiple infusion centers in-house, which is ideal and not common.
Is the TCIDA pharmacy able to serve people who are being referred from specialties other than infectious diseases?
Absolutely. TCIDA regularly serves patients from specialties such as Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Rheumatology, Transplant, and many more.
Is TCIDA capable of meeting all of the needs of infectious diseases patients?
Yes, the TCIDA pharmacy can do all infectious disease medications that are IV, as long as the patient is living in-state and TCIDA can accept the patient’s insurance.
What to expect when your MD orders IV antibiotic therapy
Why IV antibiotics and not oral antibiotics?
- IV antibiotics reach tissue faster and at higher concentrations than oral antibiotics
- Oral antibiotics may not be able to reach the part of the body that your infection is located
- Some infections are resistant to oral antibiotics
Who will administer my antibiotics?
- Depending on your insurance plan, you may come to our office daily, administer your medications to yourself at home, or have a home health nurse come to your home daily to administer your medications.
How often will I need to take my antibiotics?
- This will be determined by your doctor. Usually, medications are given once a day, twice a day, or three times a day.
How long will I be on IV antibiotics?
- Your doctor will estimate your length of treatment at the time of the initial order. However, depending on your lab results and clinical assessment, you may be on antibiotics for longer or shorter than your doctor originally planned.
What Happens Next?
- Your doctor or nurse will direct you back to our infusion department.
- Our intake department will process your order and your insurance benefits will be verified.
- Our insurance department will contact you to review your benefits and out of pocket expenses. The options for where and how you will receive your medications will be explained to you.
- You will be scheduled for IV catheter placement in our office. In rare cases, your medical history may require your IV to be placed at a local hospital.
- You will be provided with medication administration instructions by our infusion nurses and arrangements will be made for future doses.
How long will this process take?
From start to finish, this process can take 2-6 hours. You may want to leave the office during this time, however, please have your phone close by so you can be easily reached. In some cases, you may be asked to return the next day for IV placement and medication administration.