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University of Rochester Medical Center Pharmacy Department Earns its 2nd ‘Best Practices’ Award

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Innovative work by Strong Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department pharmacists has garnered a prestigious Best Practices Award from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). This year’s award marks the second for Strong, the only organization to win more than once since the award’s inception in 1999.

Strong’s Pharmacy earned the honor for Pharmacists Enhancing Patient Safety During Trauma Resuscitations, a project led by Emergency Department Pharmacists Sarah Kelly-Pisciotti, Pharm.D., and Daniel Hays, Pharm.D. The project demonstrated that a pharmacist’s presence during trauma resuscitations improves patient safety and allows medications to be prepared and administered promptly.

“Of the 200 trauma charts we reviewed, in every case where an ED pharmacist was present during trauma resuscitation, there were no adverse drug events,” said Kelly-Pisciotti. “In addition, the timing of medications was improved by an average of seven minutes per case on every medication, so all patients received appropriate and timely sedation, analgesia and/or antibiotics.”

Hays developed the Emergency Department pharmacist role at Strong, one of fewer than 50 hospitals in the country to do so. Since then, he’s created an accredited residency training program that prepares pharmacists for clinical work in emergency and critical care settings. Kelly-Pisciotti did the chart-review project during her residency training. When the results demonstrated the benefits of a pharmacist’s presence in trauma care, they submitted their project to ASHP to demonstrate that the contributions of Emergency Department pharmacists can make a significant difference in patient care and safety.

“Our ED pharmacists, working collaboratively with Strong’s trauma team, have demonstrated the valuable contribution they make toward patient care and patient safety by their presence and expertise,” said Pharmacy Director Thomas O’Brien, Pharm.D. In addition to Kelly-Pisciotti, Hays and O’Brien, team members contributing to the success of the project included Mark Gestring, M.D., RJ Fairbanks, M.D., and Matthew Metz, M.D.

ASHP presents up to six awards each year, recognizing innovation and outstanding practitioners in health-system pharmacy. Representatives from Strong’s Pharmacy will travel to Las Vegas in December to accept their award at the 30,000-member ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibits.

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Lori Barrette

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