Clinical pharmacy services
Via Christi has been proactive in developing our clinical pharmacy program. Nine clinical pharmacy specialists practice in the areas of critical care, emergency medicine, infectious diseases, behavioral health, oncology, adult medicine and medication therapy management. Clinical pharmacists serve the Via Christi Heart Failure and Disease Management Program in addition to providing code blue medical emergency response. The pharmacy department boasts an active pharmacy warfarin management service. Clinical leadership is available on multiple sites to provide support and guidance for clinical practice.
A supportive Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee works with the pharmacy on formulary management, medication safety initiatives and medication use evaluations. Pharmacists have been given authority to implement a wide variety of therapeutic interchanges, automatic conversions to oral therapy, and drug management protocols. Ongoing educational programs (such as lectures, case presentations, journal club presentations) are conducted regularly to enhance the pharmacists' knowledge and ability to provide clinical services and improve patient care.
Clinical pharmacy practitioners also work in multidisciplinary teams to provide ongoing education to the medical staff and the medical residency programs. Participation in the education of other health care professionals fosters the culture of a multidisciplinary approach to patient care.
Medication distribution/automation and technology
Medications are barcoded upon receipt and automated medication storage carousels provide inventory control and add an extra layer of error protection. Once medication orders are reviewed prospectively by the pharmacist via the OmniLinkRX electronic order management system, rapid access to medications is available in the Omnicell unit-based dispensing cabinets in patient care areas. Bedside barcode scanning is used to further optimize patient safety.
Computerized Physician Order Entry implementation is underway and an electronic medical record to enhance communication, streamline patient care and improve efficiency is under development.