5 hidden signs your pharmacy needs help: Part 2

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5 hidden signs your pharmacy needs help: Part 2

July 2023

Are your pharmacy teams suffering in silence? Here are 5 more warning signs you can't ignore.

With so much going on, it can be hard to spot where your pharmacy team needs more help. Here are 5 more signs your pharmacy might need better support:

  1. Your pharmacy and nursing teams often do the same work. If your nurses and pharmacists are constantly stepping on each other’s toes, it may be time to evaluate their workflows, workloads, and responsibilities. For example, ordering errors are behind nearly half of all medication errors. Thirty to 70 percent of the time, nurses or pharmacists are the first to spot and rectify the ordering error. Hospitals should be performing well above this range, and this requires symbiotic, yet individually-effective nursing/pharmacy collaboration.  If that’s not happening, it’s time to assess and optimize operations.
  2. Your physicians only come to the pharmacy for medication orders. High-functioning pharmacy teams are doctors’ essential clinical partners—when you’re at capacity and when things are slow. If your doctors don’t depend on their pharmacy peers for therapy and treatment plan advice, it may be time to spark some care collaboration changes. Take our partner’s word for it: The Arkansas-based, community-owned acute care facility credits sound pharmacy/physician collaboration for helping the health system navigate COVID-19.
  3. Your pharmacy teams aren’t present at admission or discharge. From medication reconciliation to counseling, your pharmacy teams should be integral during admission and discharge. You may be missing a key opportunity to enhance patient care and prevent readmissions if you’re not involving pharmacy.
  4. Your HCAHPS scores aren’t where you want them to be. Pharmacy teams can be a secret weapon for improving patient satisfaction and outcomes post-discharge . If your HCAHPS scores are suffering, you might want to consider how to better integrate your pharmacy teams into the care journey to help counsel patients.
  5. Your staff and care teams aren’t raving about their pharmacists. This is a hallmark of a high-performing inpatient pharmacy. If you aren’t always hearing great feedback about your pharmacy teams’ care from your physicians, nurses, and care teams, it’s time to evaluate your program’s operations.
Do you see any of these warning signs at your hospital?

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