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Pharmacy Day highlights vital role of teams throughout Interior Health

March 25, 2014 - 12:10 PM

Today marks Pharmacy Day in B.C., an opportunity to recognize the many ways that pharmacy teams benefit patients across Interior Health and the province.

“Pharmacy staff members play a vital role in today’s health care system,” says Minister of Health Terry Lake. “They are trusted advisors who maintain up-to-date knowledge about safe, effective medication use in hospitals and other health care settings.”

Interior Health pharmacy teams are made up of pharmacy assistants, technicians, and pharmacists who work in health care settings. Their roles include medication distribution, direct patient care, quality improvement, teaching, and research.

“Throughout the health authority we have highly effective and collaborative pharmacy teams,” says Interior Health Board Chair Norman Embree. “We want to shine a light on these professionals who are involved in virtually all aspects of patient care within our facilities.”

Clinical pharmacists participate in patient care rounds with interdisciplinary teams to take care of patients. They help ensure patients admitted to hospital continue on appropriate medications, they resolve drug therapy problems for patients during their stay, they educate and counsel patients on their medications for their medical conditions, and they ensure patients are on appropriate medications when they leave hospital.

“Pharmacists providing evidence-based services to patients receiving complex or high-risk medications for diseases help improve health outcomes,” said Richard Slavik, Interior Health’s regional manager of pharmacy professional practice. “Research has shown these activities improve quality of care for patients, and reduce health care costs.”

Throughout Interior Health, clinical pharmacists and the pharmacy team have helped improve the quality of patient care. For example, since 2009, Interior Health pharmacists have resolved over 100,000 drug therapy problems for patients. Evidence shows that this should translate into significant reductions in subsequent Emergency Department visits, drug-related readmissions, and overall system costs.

“Interior Health pharmacy assistants, technicians, and pharmacists are an important part of the health care provider team. Our commitment to contributing our unique skills to the team approach in health care delivery ensures better care for all our patients,” said Kevin Peters, Interior Health’s regional director of pharmacy services.

This month Interior Health’s pharmacy staff have hosted information booths across local hospital sites and presented regionally on the role and contribution of the pharmacy team.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
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