Published on March 03, 2015

MGMC Wins Patient Safety Award

On Floor Pharmacy Video

Patient Safety

Come along with us to Mary Greeley's oncology unit in this short video, where new pharmacy efforts are keeping patients safe.

The 2015 Iowa Healthcare Collaborative announced their Patient Safety Award winners and Mary Greeley Medical Center won in the category of Safety/Safety Across the Board for staffing pharmacists on the Oncology unit.

After piloting the program on the Medical Telemetry floor, the decision was made to move to the Oncology floor. “The medications administered on the Oncology floor can be much more complicated than the medications being given throughout the rest of the hospital,” shares Doug Wetrich, Pharmacy Director. “Because of that, an extraordinary amount of communication is needed, so it made sense to have pharmacists on that floor.”

Enter pharmacists Jill Bode and Lori Frederick. The two of them still find themselves in the hospital pharmacy on occasion and other pharmacists fill in for them as needed, but they can primarily be found on the Oncology floor.

“I welcomed the opportunity to go to the floor,” remembers Frederick. “It sounded exciting, interesting and like it would use the knowledge I gained in pharmacy school to a greater extent than working behind closed doors in the pharmacy.”

Amanda Engnell, RN, Oncology said the transition has been seamless. “We are able to provide better patient care with them right on the floor,” Engnell says. “They’re the experts on medications and now if I have a question concerning a complicated chemotherapy regimen, I can talk directly to the experts. They’ve made the Oncology floor a much safer place.”

According to both Frederick and Bode, a large component of what they do on the floors is patient education. “We explain what their medications are for, potential side effects and other tips to help patients comply and get the most from their medications,” Bode states. “It also gives the patient an opportunity to ask questions about any new medications.”

According to Sarah Heikens, Director of Oncology, the education piece really does resonate with patients. “We place follow up phone calls to our patients after they go home. On those calls, patients often comment on the excellent teaching they have received from the pharmacists and speak about how well they understand the medicines they’re taking. This communication between the pharmacists and the patients really is improving patient safety.”

Representatives from MGMC will accept the award at the Patient Safety Conference on Thursday, March 12 at The Meadows Events & Conference Center.

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