J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital celebrates National Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Week, October 21-27, 2012. J.C. Blair Pharmacy staff includes front row (l-r) Jenn Boozel, CPhT; Gail Young, CPhT; Marge Lightner, CPhT; Sophia Logue, CPhT; second row (l-r); Nancy Householder, CPhT; Jane Bellucci, LPN; Ethel MacDonald, CPhT; Pharmacy Director Tom Marko, RPh; back row (l-r) Todd Fortney, PharmD, RPh; Judy Miller, RPh; Jillian Hollen-Archey, PharmD, RPh; absent from photo: Mike Miller, RPh and Don Wetzel, RPh. For more information about the J.C. Blair Pharmacy, visit www.jcblair.org.
JC Blair Pharmacists Dedicated to Quality and Safety
Huntingdon, PA (10/17/12) – Pharmacists at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital will use National Hospital & Health-System Pharmacy Week, October 21-27, 2012, to emphasize the evolving roles they play in patient care. As both technology and healthcare progress, the contributions that the entire pharmacy staff makes to the hospital continue to grow, as well. Hospital Pharmacy Week allows us to recognize the invaluable input that both the pharmacists and technicians make to patient care in our community. J.C. Blair Hospital is an asset to this rural area, and the Pharmacy Department within the institution is dedicated to providing quality and safety to the patients they have the privilege to serve.
When patients are admitted to the hospital, most are not aware that a Pharmacy Department even exists, let alone the impact that they have in aspects of patient care. As physicians are writing orders, pharmacists must enter them before medication can be dispensed to the patient. During this time, pharmacists are cross-referencing the patient for any allergies, duplication of therapy, potential drug interactions, and appropriateness of drug choice. They work hand-in-hand with the prescribers and nurses to prevent medication errors and advise clinicians on the safest and most effective medication therapies.
During the last year, J.C. Blair Hospital advanced its technology and patient-centered care with the implementation of "Bedside Medication Verification" (BMV). This process guarantees that the right patient receives the right medication each time. Nurses must first scan the patient's wristband that is bar-coded specifically for them. Then, they follow by scanning the barcode on the medication prior to administration to the patient. All of these extra "checks" allow more focus on patient safety and outcomes.
In addition to their input in the technological advances at the hospital, J.C. Blair pharmacists have been able to take on expanding patient-care roles in numerous committees dedicated to improving safe and effective clinical practices. They now have active roles in Infection Control, Patient Safety, the Diabetes Team, the Cdiff team, and the creation of an Antibiotic Stewardship Program, just to name a few. Numerous patient safety programs, drug evaluation reviews, and quality assurance measures have been established through the pharmacy staff to ensure the most up-to-date, complete and accurate care during an inpatient stay.
With the addition of the advanced technology, as well as the highly trained, certified technicians they work with, pharmacists have been able to devote more time and effort to clinical work.
Pharmacists are performing calculations to ensure medication dosages are compliant with the patient's overall status, as well as monitoring labs on a daily basis to circumvent any possible negative outcomes that may arise with drug therapy. As time permits, their scopes of practice will continue to extend to more specific medication classes and work toward even more efficacious care. The professional relationships the pharmacy staff has established with the rest of the healthcare professionals from J.C. Blair, as well as with the surrounding community, have enabled them to use their expertise to the highest degree.
Hospital Pharmacy Week is an ideal time for the Pharmacy Department to recognize and celebrate its achievements in ensuring safety and effective medication use in the hospital, as well as share these accomplishments with the community it serves. The J.C. Blair Pharmacy is operational from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays. The hospital pharmacists rotate being on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist in any instance that may arise during closed hours. The pharmacy team at J.C. Blair is composed of three full time pharmacists, two on-call-as-needed pharmacists, four full time technicians, and three on-call-as-needed technicians. The pharmacy fills approximately 24,000 physician medication orders, including units of IV admixtures on a monthly basis.