Thursday, December 20, 2012

What is an Administration – Technology Systems rotation?

Posted by Anna at Thursday, December 20, 2012

This was a common question I received after informing people the title of my nontraditional rotation. After completing this rotation, I finally have a good answer!

The rotation was an administrative rotation within the context of the technology systems used in a hospital. These different systems include automated medication packaging, automated dispensing cabinets, and automated inventory management, to name a few. I worked under a pharmacist responsible for understanding the various systems, and who uses their capabilities and the data they collect to improve efficiency and safety within the health system.

My rotation followed a similar format to the other administrative rotations discussed by my colleagues already. However, I also spent the first week or so working with pharmacy technicians and actually using the technology. This included receiving medications from the order, picking medications for delivery, and going on runs to stock automated dispensing cabinets. This was not my favorite part of the rotation; however, it was important I understood how the systems worked in order to interpret the data they generated.

My day can easily be summarized into two main tasks: meetings and projects. I attended meetings that covered the administrative side of things (management/operations, policy review, and Joint Commission preparation) and those more specific to supporting the technology systems (purchasing/contracting, drug shortages, and quality improvement). Projects I completed include:
-          Review of pharmacy technician medication kit filling records to determine utilization of extra technician hours
-          Assessment of stock out data from Omnicells and recommendations for how to meet goals
-          Creation of a new database to store controlled substance research prescriber information
-          Collection of data and development of a timeline for implementation of consolidating purchasing of a product for the health system
-          Review of medication usage and current par levels in Omnicells and recommended changes
-          Evaluation of usage of bulk compounded products by outpatient areas
All of these projects involved ridiculous amounts of data which I had to sift through and make sense of. As a result, I became intimately acquainted with pivot tables.

I am very happy with my selection for a nontraditional rotation. I learned a lot about the administrative side of hospital pharmacy, and I better understand the challenges faced in this environment. This rotation taught me that how we get the drug to the patient is just as important as choosing the right drug. After this experience, I would be very open to an administrative position in the future.

This concludes my very last rotation at the University of Michigan hospitals—sad!!! Starting in January I test my winter driving skills (if we ever get a winter) as I venture out to Detroit’s Sinai-Grace Hospital for an Infectious Disease rotation!