First up was Drug Information (DI):
The speaker for the day was the DI pharmacist, who is available in the hospital to answer any and all questions regarding medications. She is usually saved for questions very rare adverse side effects or anything else that a physician and/or pharmacist can't look up right away or cannot find. She emphasized that every pharmacist should be knowledgable of all the ways to look up information. According to her, if you only look at LexiComp for your drug information, you're not optimizing patient care.
We were lead through various books that she has on hand. Here's a glimpse:
|ImmunoFacts has information regarding vaccines, antibodies, interferons, interleukins, etc. It's organized by class, and has tables inside with dosing schedules for vaccines, etc. A good second source would be the CDC website.|
Next up was Medication Safety:
The hospital's Medication Safety Officer, Dr. Kayla Hansen, is a pharmacist who specializes in medication safety. She analyzes reported medication errors that happen in the hospital and figures out ways to prevent them by implementing procedural changes and educating.
It seems like something that is obvious, but errors happen every single day, especially in institutions with so much interdisciplinary communication, and patients receive the consequences. More than half of all errors in a hospital are medication-related, and pharmacists have a key role in preventing them throughout the medication use process.
The most interesting fact is that at UNC Hospitals, the most errors are done by nurses, with pharmacists coming in second. HOWEVER, because error reporting is voluntary, this is not by any means comprehensive. What it does mean is that nurses care enough about patient safety that they will even report themselves doing an error. Many are afraid to report errors because of fear of punishment, but without reporting errors, we wouldn't know how to improve. The ultimate goal is to minimize errors to optimize patient care and safety!