Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rotation 3: Pharmacy Administration: Transitioning to a New Perspective

Posted by Emily VanWieren at Sunday, November 20, 2016

First Impressions and a Day in the Life
What does a pharmacist in administration do?? Before this rotation, I had no idea what pharmacists do on a daily basis in this non-traditional role. I quickly learned that a job in administration felt similar to being in leadership for a student organization, something I was familiar with after being president of our chapter of APhA-ASP. My preceptor was in charge of the outpatient pharmacy as well as transitions of care initiatives at the hospital. We attended many meetings with various interdisciplinary professionals working at the hospital to brainstorm new ideas, create action plans, implement new projects, and track progress. Interpersonal and written communication was key in getting a message across and producing the best outcome. I helped interview technicians and pharmacists for positions that were open. I was also assigned various projects analyzing data and creating proposals for funding and restructuring of positions.

Transitions of Care
I became passionate about transitions of care over the course of this rotation. After two inpatient clinical rotations, I understood what happened while patients were in the hospital, but I had no idea what happened when they were discharged to go home. There are many medication errors that happen upon admission and discharge (transitions of care), and pharmacists can play a huge role in reducing these errors and creating a safer experience for patients throughout the whole health care continuum. I was heavily involved in counseling patients on their new medications during my organ transplant rotation, and there was some counseling on new anticoagulants during my internal medicine rotation, but a large majority of patients receive their discharge instructions via paperwork, and sometimes nurse education. One of my major projects was to create a proposal that would encourage more use of student resources to counsel patients being discharged on their medication changes so that patients and their caregivers understand exactly how, why, and when to take their medications. Pharmacists and student pharmacists can and should take ownership in transitions of care due to our vast knowledge of medications and our primary focus on medication use.

I thoroughly enjoyed my administration rotation because I felt my skills of interpersonal communication, teamwork, and organization were in line with the day to day activities of a pharmacy administrator. I enjoyed hearing other's perspectives and brainstorming new ideas that would affect a large number of patients. Although I didn't have one-on-one interaction with patients on this rotation, I was surprised by how much I used my clinical knowledge and understanding of pharmacist workflow in order to problem solve and create ideas for large-scale solutions.

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