Data from a new study funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) revealed a robust reduction in patients' blood sugar levels when pharmacists or nurses were utilized as case managers who made independent decisions regarding medication use instead of waiting for physician approval.
For Randy Carver, R.Ph., it was baptism by fire. Carver, the pharmacy automation coordinator at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga., learned his technology skills on the job, beginning back in 1995 when the hospital installed its first unit-based cabinet in the emergency department. "When I came on board, I didn't know anything about automation. I had no formal computer training, I had to learn everything," he said.
Hospitals and health systems are under increasing pressure to reengineer their medication use systems and to make the process safer, more efficient, and more cost-effective. In most instances, these types of reengineering initiatives are proprietary. Hospitals aren't in the habit of sharing the details about such projects with their competitors. But what if the data from such a reengineering project were made public for all to see and to learn from?