ASHP and the ASHP Research and Education Foundation have partnered to take a long hard look at what pharmacy practice looks like now and what it needs to look like in the future. The venture is called the Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative, or PPMI. According to the ASHP PPMI website “there is an urgent need to create a forward thinking hospital and health-system pharmacy practice model.“ I couldn’t agree more.
The current pharmacy practice model is more than 3 decades old and is sorely in need of an overhaul. Of course the changes will represent not only the services pharmacists provide and how pharmacists participate in patient care and safety, but also how to best utilize technology to accomplish the ultimate goal; a better pharmacy practice model.
The most recent PPMI newsletter gives us a glimpse of some forward thinking pharmacy practices including the University of Kentucky Medical Center. I’ve always had great respect for the UK College of Pharmacy as they usually rank high in the list of top pharmacy schools in the U.S. Of course UCSF is usually #1, but that’s to be expected (sorry had to do it).
Anyway, the practice spotlight on UK can be found here (PDF). There are some great pearls of wisdom in the article, but my interest is mainly on the technology. “The technology that provides the most support to our practice model is an integrated electronic medical record (EMR). At our hospital, we utilize a pharmacy software program that integrates patients’ EMR with computerized physician order entry (CPOE), electronic medication administration records (eMAR), lab and diagnostic test results, and clinical documentation information. This allows our pharmacists to utilize computer system to enter orders, verify and dispense medications, as well as monitor, evaluate, and revise medication therapy. Our pharmacy also utilizes an automated dispensing machine (ADM) system in which 80% of adult medications and 60% of pediatric medications are available immediately through the profiled ADM system.” The combination of an EMR, eMAR and CPOE can only be found in a small percentage of hospitals across this great nation of ours, and UK is one of them. This is a great example of what other healthcare facilities should be doing.
If you get a chance make sure to stop by the PPMI website and take the poll on “which technologic enhancement do you feel will most advance the role of pharmacists in providing direct patient care?”