Posts filed under: Clinical Pearls

Clinical Pearls

Clinical pharmacy pearls for the thriving pharmacist

Recently, pharmacies failing to address significant drug interactions has made national headlines. But while the pharmacists that failed to address these interaction are certainly at fault, to some degree we all share in the fault. Today’s healthcare world is regularly pushing providers to do more for less. The payor and the patient both want low cost, and with respect to pharmaceuticals,......
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The title above comes from the 1983 movie WarGames. The plot of this movie centers around a young computer hacker that manages to access a Department of Defense computer. That computer asks the hacker, Shall we play a game? That game just happens to be Global Thermonuclear War, and as it turned out, the game was actually very real. Sometimes, an apparently......
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During my senior year in pharmacy school, one of the most important lessons drilled into me was to look at the bigger picture. As a young professional, I naturally tended to look at individual data points like lab values and then make recommendations. Generally speaking, this is a not seeing the forest for the trees......
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The other day, I wrote about a case involving a medication for which the plan required to be filled at a specialty pharmacy. This was an example of fragmentation of care. In Pharmacy, fragmentation is often either financial, or the result of contractual requirements imposed by benefit managers or plans. Examples include: maintenance medications that are required be......
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Some time back I wrote about “The Rewards of Performance“. In that piece, I discussed the existence of Generic Dispensing Rates (GPR) as one of the measures used by a plan to “reward” a pharmacy for clinical performance. Since that time, several additional plans have announced their 2016 Prescription Drug Plans, and several have a......
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Previously, I discussed complacency as it relates to pharmacy practice. But this is not the only challenge a dedicated pharmacist faces. Even a great interventionist struggles with being reactive from time to time. Reactive |rēˈaktiv| adjective: acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it:  To be fair, there is no way that anyone can avoid being reactive all......
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Recently I spent several weeks navigating a small health issue that involved outpatient surgery. When checking in at the clinic, the receptionist handed me a tablet and asked me to complete a History of Present Illness (HPI). I did not think too much about this until a week later, when one of my colleagues asked me......
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In the past three years, I have seen more changes occurring in healthcare and, in particular, pharmacy, then I have seen in my entire career which now spends almost 30 years.  The changes are coming rapidly and frequently to the point where it is becoming scary, challenging, and intimidating to pharmacists in all settings. One......
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Last week, one of the Medicare Part D plans using Mirixa for Medication Therapy Management (MTM) “dropped” a new batch of “Star Measure” alerts to our pharmacy. These have been previously discussed here on this blog. This “drop” was not unlike previous iterations our pharmacy has seen; the patients highlighted for possible compliance issues were exclusively......
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Whenever visitors tour our pharmacy, one of the most common comments has to do with the level of our staffing. We typically have a minimum of 4 pharmacists working on any given day, with as many as 7 on select days. The use of extra pharmacists (what we call our slack resources) allows the flexibility......
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