Celebrating National Pharmacy Week

It’s National Pharmacy Week! Please join the Department of Pharmaceutical Care in celebrating from Monday, Oct. 21 through Sunday, Oct. 27! UI Hospitals & Clinics pharmacy staff work throughout UI Health Care, supporting clinical services, education, and research. Pharmacists are medication experts and work with the patient’s entire care team to ensure therapy is safe and effective. Pharmacy technicians are integral in the medication distribution process and ensuring patients are taken care of in a timely manner. Additionally, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy support staff work to ensure patients are able to afford their medications and improve outcomes. Thank you to the entire pharmacy staff for all of your hard work and dedication to positive patient outcomes and safety.

Make sure to stop by the Fountain Lobby (Elevator C, Level 1) between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. during the week for an overview of pharmacy services, how pharmacists fit into the health care team, and to learn more about the UI College of Pharmacy.

Did you know?

The Department of Pharmaceutical Care has more than 500 employees on staff, consisting of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy residents, students, and support staff. The Department of Pharmaceutical Care is comprised of ambulatory care, acute care, and support services.

Ambulatory care services

Ambulatory pharmacists work in multiple pharmacy care and specialty clinics offering:

  • Patient clinic visits, point-of-care testing, and disease state and medication education
    • Transitions of care
    • Medication management
    • Pharmacist-run clinics in anticoagulation and pharmacotherapy
  • Immunizations

UI Hospitals & Clinics has 13 outpatient pharmacies both on- and off-site, dispensing more than 350,000 prescriptions annually while providing a variety of services including:

  • Adherence packaging
  • Medication synchronization
  • Free mail delivery
  • Clinical expertise
  • Compounded medications
  • 20% employee discount on over the counter medications
  • Bedside delivery of medications

Acute care services

Inpatient clinical pharmacists are an integral member of the patient care with services including:

  • Rounding with the medical team on patient care units
  • Clinical review and verification of patient medication orders
  • Drug information consults
  • Pharmacokinetic and patient monitoring services
  • Transitions of care planning
  • Discharge management
  • Patient education

Inpatient pharmacy operations span the organization:

  • Medication distribution, return, and disposal
  • Sterile and non-sterile compounding
  • Inventory management for the health-system (more than $5.5 million in inventory)
  • Controlled substance management
  • Automation (IT systems and robotics)
  • Drug shortages management (40–50 active drugs on shortage on average)

Support services

The department contributes significantly to the margin to the health system while simultaneously enhancing patient care:

  • UI Hospitals & Clinics is a DSH hospital eligible for the 340B drug discount program. The program is run through the Department of Pharmaceutical Care and has an annual savings of more than $150 million.
  • In FY18, the contribution margin was $47.5 million from ambulatory pharmacy services.
  • The Medication Assistance Center saved patients more than $2 million in FY19.
  • UI Hospitals & Clinics holds the largest contract (more than $200 million) in the state of Iowa with the medication wholesaler McKesson.

Research and education

The Department’s Investigational Drug Service supports clinical research for the state’s only academic medical center and more than 400 active research protocols are managed Investigational Drug Services.

  • Pharmacists serve as principal investigators on active clinical research studies
  • Student pharmacists and resident pharmacists conduct IRB approved research projects
  • UI Drug Information and Policy Center answers real-time questions from the clinical team
  • Pharmacist-led antimicrobial stewardship team critically evaluates medication utility and optimization against difficult-to-treat organisms

Education and residency:

  • UI Hospitals & Clinics was one of the first pharmacy residency programs in the nation to be accredited. Currently, there have been 337 residents trained since 1949.
  • Resident staffing offset savings exceed $400,000 per year.
  • 51% of pharmacists are residency trained and 67% have attained additional board certification for the area of expertise.

Have a medication question? Ask a pharmacist today!