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Decentralized Pharmacy Services

Our pharmacists are decentralized, which means they are continuously rounding in different patient care areas. This allows for better communication with medical staff, nurses, and our patients. In 2009, the decentralized services were expanded to include the Emergency Department. There are many clinical initiatives carried out such as conversion from intravenous to oral medication therapy, monitoring of lab values to adjust medication dosages, initiation of medication to prevent blood clots when appropriate, and counseling patients on drug regimens to allow a safer transition outside of the medical center. In addition to these services, there is also a warfarin clinic run by our decentralized team. Pharmacists are responsible for monitoring lab values and adjusting warfarin doses for orthopedic patients and follow them for four weeks after discharge.

Clinical services

The Pharmacy Department also has three Clinical Pharmacy Specialists, who have advanced training and education in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, and Infectious Diseases. The Clinical Specialists collaborate with physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals to ensure that our patients receive the safest and most clinically effective treatment possible for their conditions while in the hospital. Some of their responsibilities include daily medication review, providing drug information, adjusting medication doses based on the patient’s condition, participating in committees, rounding with physicians groups, and developing hospital-wide policies. The role of the Clinical Specialists continues to expand to meet the growing needs of the St. Mary Medical Center community.

Pharmacy Automation

The Pharmacy Department is committed to maintaining the safe and accurate delivery of medications to our patients while streamlining pharmacy distributive functions. As part of this process we have installed a McKesson MedCarousel; a pharmacy drug storage and retrieval system that will save storage space, save staff time, and improve safety. The MedCarousel has many benefits, including reducing picking and restocking errors; reducing pharmacist check time through the use of a bar-code verification process, which will further enhance patient safety; decreasing the time it takes to pick medications for Pyxis refills; and helping increase inventory turnover and improve our use of inventory space.

Pyxis MedStation devices are used for safe and efficient medication distribution. Medications are refilled using barcode technology. The nursing staff removes the medications for each patient via the Pyxis machine and scans both the medication as well as the patient bracelet to ensure the correct medication is administered to the correct patient (Bedside Medication Verification). The Pyxis devices allow us to maintain inventory levels and decrease patient wait times.

Another piece of equipment the Pharmacy Department utilizes to increase the safety and accuracy is the Talyst Packager. Tablets and capsules are packaged individually and contain a barcode, which is used for restocking medications by the Pharmacy Department as well as nursing during the Bedside Medication Verification process.

For more information on how to manage your medications safely, click here