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Making your doctors, PharmDs play nice
When Hunterdon Medical Center added doctoral-level pharmacists to initiatives to stem antibiotic resistance, productive interaction between the PharmDs and the other medical staff became crucial to its success.
Robert Pickoff, MD, MMM, chief medical officer, says doctors had to learn new ways of using antibiotics. Key to this was having a reliable resource staff could use. In order to get physician buy in, Pickoff says, "you need someone who can go toe to toe with a physician educationally, and a PharmD is certainly on that level."
And at Hunterdon that proved to be true. Now, when physicians call in an order, they first consult with the PharmD on staff for advice. "When a PharmD makes a recommendation on a chart, there's an 89-90% rate of an order being changed based on that recommendation, and that's really key," he says.
That interaction, he says, was "key to success in turning the tide on resistance because it's a very credible form of information that the medical staff at this point have totally bought into."
Education key to change
When Sarah Bland, RPh, senior clinical pharmacist with the Center for Drug Policy at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, brought on Premier Inc.'s web-based infection tracking SafetySurveillor tool on board, communication between the pharmacy and the medical team also became integral.
That relationship, she says, has been a harmonious one. "It's not like we just sit here and swoop down on them when they make a mistake," she says. The pharmacy team does inservices and speaks with medical staff at their weekly coffee section sessions. "We'll go and talk to them about subjects they like, and they get to know us as more than just people who are calling. If they're having problems, we're there to try to help them with that. We developed guidelines and are using their advice and input."
As far as her administration, when they saw results after the first year the tool was implemented, she says, they bought right in.