Magazine article Drug Topics

How R.Ph.S Helped Three Hospitals Win Quality and Safety Awards

Magazine article Drug Topics

How R.Ph.S Helped Three Hospitals Win Quality and Safety Awards

Article excerpt

Strong collaboration between pharmacists and physicians set the stage for the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) to win a prestigious safety and quality award, according to its chief of staff. "I must say that our head of pharmacy and his staff have been integral in developing the processes that led to this," said Darrell A. Campbell, Jr., M.D. "We have been way ahead of the curve on the issue of medical and pharmacy integration. I am very proud of that."

Campbell was one of several recent recipients of the 2007 John M. Eisenberg Parient Safety and Quality Award given by The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (NQF). Omets included Eric J. Thomas, M.D., of the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSQ at Houston, for research into the root causes of medical and medication errors; and the Evanston Nonhwestern Healthcare, a three-hospital system outside Chicago, for development and deployment of the first universal admission surveillance program for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Pharmacist Involvement

Campbell, Thomas, and Evanston's Lance Peterson, M.D., all spoke of the importance of their respective pharmacy departments in the enhancement of patient safety. "Root cause analysis is obviously the most effective way of using experience to reduce errors," said Thomas. "That's impossible without pharmacists."

Campbell's award was in the individual achievement category, given in part for establishing hospitalwide rapid response teams and regular patient safety rounds, both of which, he said, heavily involve his pharmacy department The award was also in recognition of his role in the expansion of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) from Veterans Affairs to the private sector.

"I found early recognition from the administration, and then the medical staff, that we have indispensable knowledge on drugs and drug interactions," said James Stevenson, Pharm.D., R.Ph., director of pharmacy services at UMHS and associate dean of the university's school of pharmacy. "From the beginning of my tenure here eight years ago, this administration has been willing to provide the financial resources necessary to involve clinical pharmacists in all areas of care. The result today is a team examination of whether systems we have are effective."

It is the steadfastness of Stevenson's 100 pharmacists in accepting workload responsibility-and responsibility for panent safety-that "makes their integration with the medical staffso effective," Campbell said. …

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