Integrating Pharmacists into a Palliative Medicine Team at a Community Hospital

Topic: Staffing Models

 

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The core team members of a Palliative Medicine Team include Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Social Workers and Chaplains. While Pharmacists have been identified as valuable team members, most inpatient Palliative Teams have not been able to have a full time Pharmacist in a small Community Hospital setting. Our program illustrates a collaborative agreement whereby a palliative trained pharmacist is integrated into the Palliative Medicine Service. The pharmacy department provides 24 hour inpatient coverage and has a pharmacy managed pain protocol that is used to ensure patients have access to pharmacists all the time. A palliative trained pharmacist works with the Palliative Medicine Team Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. The pharmacist participates in the interdisciplinary team meeting three times weekly with the Palliative Medicine Team, follows assigned patients and focuses on patients with symptom management, end of life care and any medication education needs. The Palliative Pharmacist signs off to the pm/night/weekend pharmacist for necessary follow up. The pharmacists document in the electronic medical records. A Palliative team member is always on call; however with the pharmacist pain protocol being available 24/7, it complements the team and has proven to be extremely effective and rewarding, enhancing patient care.

Author

  • Dharma Naidu, PHARMD
  • Clinical Pharmacist
  • Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula
  • 22997 Espada Dr
  • Salinas, CA 93908

Co-authors

  • Christine Short, RN
  • Chris Williams, M.Div
  • Dharma Naidu, PharmD, BCOP
  • Ethan Howe, NP
  • John Hausdorff, MD, FACP
  • John Juster, MSW
  • Kacie Boyce, RN
  • Kim Jones, PharmD

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