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February 2016 Department Discovery: Pharmacy

February 2016 Department Discovery: Pharmacy

The February Department Discovery shines a light on the Campbell County Health Pharmacy.

While the Pharmacy at CCMH isn't a retail pharmacy, which means that the public cannot have them fill their prescriptions like you would at other pharmacies around town, the department is responsible for helping with medications prescribed for patients while they are in the hospital. The CCMH Pharmacy is also the only dispensary that provides home IV therapy that's ordered by a provider and mixes all of the chemotherapy drugs for the patients at the Heptner Cancer Center. For the health and safety of our patients, pharmacists provide all medications for patients while hospitalized—regardless if they have them in their possession at the hospital.

Pharmacists at CCMH:

  • work with a patient's doctor and care team to help select the best medication for each patient
  • review the patient's health problems and other medications to determine if the prescribed medications are what the patient should be taking
  • advise the patient on how and when to take the medications prescribed, and provide instructions upon discharge

Staff includes six registered pharmacists—five of which are Pharm D. educated (hold a professional doctor degree)—and five board certified pharmacy technicians. According to Director Robert Quintana, RPh, these qualified individuals together give more than 125 combined years of pharmacy work experience for the organization. And, the CCMH Pharmacy gives back to others inspiring to become pharmacists by providing clinical experiences for students from the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy, among others.

Another unique feature the Pharmacy department has is a service called ePharmacy—courtesy of a grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust. With ePharmacy, a pharmacist is on duty 24/7, even when a CCMH pharmacist is not at the hospital by securely linking to clinical experts at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. When a new order for medication is written by a physician during the night, it is faxed to Avera and reviewed by the pharmacist. The medication is profiled based on the medications we use at CCMH to our Pharmacy computer system. The nurse acknowledges the medication and it is given to the patient. A great use of technology that helps CCH provide an additional level of care and monitoring for our patients.

"This year, the CCMH Pharmacy department is working to place a Clinical Pharmacist on the Medical/Surgical and Intensive Care (ICU) units so we can take a more patient centered approach—essentially becoming a stronger part of a patient's care team," says Robert. This will help pharmacists better explain to patients on how their medications may affect their health as well as support the care team's efforts to educate patients on other necessary steps to improve their health such as diet and exercise.

Another secret that Robert let slip about the department: they have THE BEST March Madness Brackets in town. If there are any challengers to this, I'm sure the department would discuss a fun wager.

A big round of applause to the Pharmacy Department staff! Thank you for all that you do for keeping our community healthy!