The Oncology pharmacy services include comprehensive patient education, continuity of care, convenience, and access to a pharmacist specializing in cancer and treatment. These services include mixing of chemotherapy products for physicians offices, providing take home prescriptions, and filling research prescriptions. The pharmacist providing these services is specially trained to support cancer patients being cared for by Oncology Associates physicians. The pharmacists provide support to both physicians and nurses allowing them to perform more complicated therapies in the outpatient setting rather than in the hospital. This results in reduced health care costs as well as improved patient satisfaction through convenience. The pharmacy, through the development of cost effective results oriented drug usage protocols and evaluation of drug utilization helps lower costs and improve patient care. Oncology pharmacy services are ultimately for the patients benefit to ensure the patients will be much more satisfied with the overall cancer treatment experience.
Deb Ratchford currently serves as the Manager of Pharmacy Services for Oncology Associates. Deb received her BS degree in pharmacy from the University of Iowa School of Pharmacy located in Iowa City, Iowa in May of 1987. She has practiced with Oncology Associates since 1995. Deb is an active member of the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists and the Iowa Pharmacists Association.