PMC's pharmacy takes patient care to next level
From ensuring patients at Providence Medical Center receive the proper medications to educating patients on new medications, the pharmacy at PMC pushes patient care to the next level.
"A benefit of having the pharmacy here at PMC is we make sure patients are getting the right medication at the right time," said pharmacist Kim Bentjen. "We make sure the patient has the proper monitoring for possible side effects and we offer education on new medications to patients."
A pharmacy has been onsite for a number of years, however with the recent remodeling at the hospital, the pharmacy was one of many departments that underwent major changes to make a more functional, more efficient workspace.
With those changes and the addition of a second pharmacist last summer, the PMC Pharmacy is now able to handle things that weren't once possible.
"Since we got Scot here, we've been able to meet with most patients before they are discharged," Bentjen said.
Besides Bentjen and Scot Surber, Keri Carlson (CPhT) and Shelby Mastalir (CPhT) are also in the pharmacy. Both are Certified Pharmacy Technicians and Carlson handles the purchasing for the pharmacy.
Having the extra hands means a lot these days with increasing regulations and the recently-added ability to create IV solutions and injections in-house.
"There are a lot of regulations, a lot of new regulations, in pharmacy. Thanks to the renovations, we have the sterile compounding in the pharmacy now and are making the IV solutions to use here, meaning we are outsourcing less."
Those regulations are constantly being updated and to stay current, each pharmacy staff member is required to take a number of continuing education hours to ensure they are up to date on medications and practices.
Something the pharmacy prides itself on is the thorough medical record checks done on patients. Often times, Bentjen said, a patient will come in with records from numerous places. And in some cases, a patient might not even know what medication they are currently taking.
Staff of the PMC Pharmacy call out to various clinics or nursing homes and family members to get information and pour over those records to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. They even check the medication bottles themselves, checking not only on the name of the medication printed on the bottle but that the correct medication is in that bottle. This ensures the medication given to the patient at the hospital doesn't interact with any current medications or upset any allergies the patient may have.
That extra level of effort by the pharmacy translates to physicians and nurses with a more complete picture of the patient's medical history, which in turn means better cared-for patients.
In addition to the medical record check, another level of care taken by the pharmacy and other staff at PMC is the barcode-bedside check.
Bentjen explained the practice, stating each patient receives a barcode that is scanned each time they are given medication. The medication also has a barcode that is scanned before it is administered. If the two match up, the medication is okay to be administered.
It's another way to ensure each patient receives the correct dosage of the correct medication at the correct time to avoid any unnecessary complications.
The pharmacy covers patients' medication while they are in the hospital only, as it is not a retail pharmacy, however the hours of the pharmacy cover pre- and post-operation procures at the hospital to ensure patients are well taken care of in their time of need.
Every step of the way, the pharmacy at Providence Medical Center ensures the safety of its patients, enabling for the best results possible in their recovery.
**This story can be found in our special section FAMILY which publishes every other month.**