Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NQF's Safe Practice 18 - A Call to Action

"Pharmacy leaders should have an active role on the administrative leadership team that reflects their authority and accountability for medication management systems performance across the organization."

- Pharmacist Leadership Structures and Systems - Safe Practice 18, from the National Quality Forum's 2009 Update to their Safe Practices for Better Healthcare Report

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists recently published an article focusing on the growth opportunities available to the field of pharmacy by the endorsement of Safe Practice 18.  Hayley Burgess, Pharm.D., BCPP, one of the writers of the standard, believes that this is a "call to action" for pharmacists to take on larger leadership roles.

INQRI agrees that pharmacists have an important role to play in ensuring effective medication management.  In 2007, we funded a nurse-pharmacist team to conduct a project at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  In their project, "Nursing-Pharmacy Collaboration on Medication Reconciliation: A Novel Approach to Information Management,"  Drs. Linda Costa (a nurse) and Robert Feroli (a pharmacist) examined how to economically support direct care providers in medication reconciliation in order to facilitate safe transition to and from hospital and community.  Costa and Feroli believe that deficits in communication across the continuum of care in regards to medication use can place patients at serious risk for harm. The team evaluated the effectiveness of a nurse-pharmacist clinical information coordination team in improving drug information management on admission and discharge, quantified potential harm due to reconciliation failures, and determined cost-benefit related to averted harm.

Check out a recent webinar presented by Dr. Costa about this collaboration.

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