Historically, hospital pharmacists have spent their day in the pharmacy managing the flow of patient orders and overseeing drug distribution. Over the years, as we have become increasingly automated, there is less need for our pharmacists to be tethered to the central pharmacy. At the same time, medication regimens are becoming more complex, leading pharmacists to become an essential part of the healthcare team.
With increasingly complicated medication regimens, it is more critical than ever that our patients receive timely information about prescribed medications. In the hospital setting, this responsibility has traditionally fallen on nursing among the many tasks that must be executed at the time of a patient’s discharge.
At KSB, we now have a pharmacist dedicated to working in patient care areas daily on weekdays. The ‘Decentralized’ pharmacist rounds daily with physicians, social services, quality and nursing team members allowing us to provide input, address patient concerns and proactively assist with treatment decisions. As a part of the frontline team, we are better informed of the patient’s treatment plan, and we can contribute as decisions are being made.
Our presence in patient care areas likewise gives us a heads up on new medication orders, allowing us to teach patients about their medications before discharge. Understanding how meds work, what they are for and how to take them is critical to successful care after discharge.
Our vision is to continue building on this decentralized pharmacy model to provide the best care to our patients.