Specialty Pharmacy with a Focus on Outcomes at Vanderbilt – Dr. Autumn Zuckerman

In this episode, you’ll hear from Dr. Autumn Zuckerman. Autumn received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy, then completed two years of ASHP-accredited residency training at the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System VA, specializing in ambulatory care. She began working at Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy in July 2015 and soon after joined the Infectious Diseases team where she provided clinical pharmacy services under a collaborative practice agreement for those with HCV infection and at high risk for HIV acquisition.
Dr. Zuckerman was appointed Program Director of Health Outcomes and Research at Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy in January 2018. Since its inception, the Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy Outcomes Program has engaged in numerous outcomes research projects, demonstrating the value of pharmacists in specialty pharmacy practice setting. Dr. Zuckerman also serves as an affiliate professor at University of Tennessee College of Health Sciences, Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy, and Belmont University College of Pharmacy, and was recently the recipient of the Carl Wayne Shaddix Pharmacy Practitioner of Excellence Award from Samford University.
As Program Director of Health Outcomes and Research at VSP, Dr. Zuckerman’s goals are to empower clinical pharmacists to produce meaningful research that improves the way we delivery specialty care and demonstrates the value of the pharmacist in patient care.

Main discussion points for the podcast
1. The role of specialty pharmacists in patient management
a. Overview of how specialty pharmacy differs from traditional community pharmacy (cost, complexity, care plans, etc.)
b. Typical responsibilities and tasks of a specialty pharmacists
c. Different specialty pharmacy models with a focus on what a health-system specialty pharmacist does based on my experience
2. The need for a focus on outcomes in specialty pharmacy
a. Costs of treatment, nonoptimized therapy, growing industry, and current ineffective methods of driving quality
b. What “outcomes” specialty pharmacists and providers are interested in and how we go about collecting them and monitoring patients.
3. Demonstrating the value of the specialty pharmacist in outcomes research
a. Disparity of training in pharmacy school to demonstrate pharmacists’ value despite the importance of doing so to advance the profession and secure pharmacist integration into patient care.
b. Results from some of the VSP studies showing pharmacist value
4. Call to educate patients, students, providers, and pharmacists about specialty pharmacy and demonstrate our value.

Host – Hillary Blackburn, PharmD
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