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2.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 77(19): 1592-1597, 2020 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317905

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Guidance on alternate care site planning based on the experience of a health-system pharmacy department in preparing for an expected surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases is provided. SUMMARY: In disaster response situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare institutions may be compelled to transition to a contingency care model in which staffing and supply levels are no longer consistent with daily practice norms and, while usual patient care practices are maintained, establishment of alternate care sites (eg, a convention center) may be necessitated by high patient volumes. Available resources to assist hospitals and health systems in alternate care site planning include online guidance posted within the COVID-19 resources section of the US Army Corps of Engineers website, which provides recommended medication and supply lists; and the Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force's alternate care site toolkit, a comprehensive resource for all aspects of alternate care site planning, including pharmacy services. Important pharmacy planning issues include security and storage of drugs, state board of pharmacy and Drug Enforcement Administration licensing considerations, and staff credentialing, education, and training. Key medication management issues to be addressed in alternate site care planning include logistical challenges of supply chain maintenance, optimal workflow for compounded sterile preparations (eg, on-site preparation vs off-site preparation and delivery from a nearby hospital), and infusion pump availability and suitability to patient acuity levels. CONCLUSION: Planning for and operation of alternate care sites in disaster response situations should include involvement of pharmacists in key decision-making processes at the earliest planning stages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Decision Making, Organizational , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Health Facility Planning/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergencies , Health Facility Planning/standards , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Humans , Medication Therapy Management/organization & administration , Models, Organizational , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Workflow
3.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 77(19): 1598-1605, 2020 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317904

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To describe our medical center's pharmacy services preparedness process and offer guidance to assist other institutions in preparing for surges of critically ill patients such as those experienced during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. SUMMARY: The leadership of a department of pharmacy at an urban medical center in the US epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic proactively created a pharmacy action plan in anticipation of a surge in admissions of critically ill patients with COVID-19. It was essential to create guidance documents outlining workflow, provide comprehensive staff education, and repurpose non-intensive care unit (ICU)-trained clinical pharmacotherapy specialists to work in ICUs. Teamwork was crucial to ensure staff safety, develop complete scheduling, maintain adequate drug inventory and sterile compounding, optimize the electronic health record and automated dispensing cabinets to help ensure appropriate prescribing and effective management of medication supplies, and streamline the pharmacy workflow to ensure that all patients received pharmacotherapeutic regimens in a timely fashion. CONCLUSION: Each hospital should view the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to internally review and enhance workflow processes, initiatives that can continue even after the resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Medication Therapy Management/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Academic Medical Centers/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals, Urban/organization & administration , Hospitals, Urban/standards , Humans , Leadership , New York/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/organization & administration , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/standards , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/standards , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , Workflow , Workforce/organization & administration , Workforce/standards
5.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 77(18): 1510-1515, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317902

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To describe our hospital pharmacy department's preparation for an influx of critically ill patients during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and offer guidance on clinical pharmacy services preparedness for similar crisis situations. SUMMARY: Personnel within the department of pharmacy at a medical center at the US epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic proactively prepared a staffing and pharmacotherapeutic action plan in anticipation of an expected surge in admissions of critically ill patients with COVID-19 and expansion of acute care and intensive care unit (ICU) capacity. Guidance documents focusing on supportive care and pharmacotherapeutic treatment options were developed. Repurposing of non-ICU-trained clinical pharmacotherapy specialists to work collaboratively with clinician teams in ICUs was quickly implemented; staff were prepared for these duties through use of shared tools to facilitate education and practice standardization. CONCLUSION: As challenges were encountered at the initial peak of the pandemic, interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork was crucial to ensure that all patients were proactively assessed and that their respective pharmacotherapeutic regimens were optimized.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Medication Therapy Management/standards , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care/organization & administration , Critical Care/standards , Critical Illness , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Disaster Planning/standards , Emergencies , Humans , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Intensive Care Units/standards , Medication Therapy Management/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Patient Care Team/standards , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Professional Role , Workforce/organization & administration , Workforce/standards
6.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 77(17): 1403-1408, 2020 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317901

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: After community transmission of the novel virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was detected in the State of Washington in February 2020, innovative measures, such as telehealth appointments, were needed to safely continue to provide optimal pharmaceutical care for patients with chronic conditions and cancer. SUMMARY: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal regulations limited the scope of telehealth pharmacist services. However, enactment of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, followed by guidance by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Health and Human Services, allowed currently credentialed providers (including pharmacists) to continue to provide patient care services via telehealth with fewer restrictions. Our health system has numerous credentialed pharmacists across multiple ambulatory care clinics. In this article, we highlight our process of expediting the implementation of telehealth services. This process included obtaining authorization for the credentialed pharmacists to provide telehealth services, completion of training modules, implementation of new technology platforms, development of new workflows, and utilization of resources for providers and patients to facilitate successful completion of telehealth visits. We also highlight the consent and documentation components crucially important to the telehealth visit and share some of our successes, as well as identified limitations, in providing pharmacist services via telehealth. CONCLUSION: In the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic, our institution was able to swiftly implement clinical pharmacist telehealth services for many patients, offering a safe and effective way to continue providing a high level of care. This article discusses our experience with and potential limitations of telehealth to assist other pharmacists seeking to implement and/or expand their telehealth services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Medication Therapy Management/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Chronic Disease/drug therapy , Humans , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Professional Role , Washington/epidemiology
7.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 77(17): 1409-1416, 2020 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317900

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created unprecedented strains on healthcare systems around the world. Challenges surrounding an overwhelming influx of patients with COVID-19 and changes in care dynamics prompt the need for care models and processes that optimize care in this medically complex patient population. The purpose of this report is to describe our institution's strategy to deploy pharmacy resources and standardize pharmacy processes to optimize the management of patients with COVID-19. METHODS: This retrospective, descriptive report characterizes documented pharmacy interventions in the acute care of patients admitted for COVID-19 during the period April 1 to April 15, 2020. Patient monitoring, interprofessional communication, and intervention documentation by pharmacy staff was facilitated through the development of a COVID-19-specific care bundle integrated into the electronic medical record. RESULTS: A total of 1,572 pharmacist interventions were documented in 197 patients who received a total of 15,818 medication days of therapy during the study period. The average number of interventions per patient was 8. The most common interventions were regimen simplification (15.9%), timing and dosing adjustments (15.4%), and antimicrobial therapy and COVID-19 treatment adjustments (15.2%). Patients who were admitted to an intensive care unit care at any point during their hospital stay accounted for 66.7% of all interventions documented. CONCLUSION: A pharmacy department's response to the COVID-19 pandemic was optimized through standardized processes. Pharmacists intervened to address a wide scope of medication-related issues, likely contributing to improved management of COVID-19 patients. Results of our analysis demonstrate the vital role pharmacists play as members of multidisciplinary teams during times of crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Medication Therapy Management/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage , Anti-Bacterial Agents/adverse effects , Anticoagulants/administration & dosage , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care/organization & administration , Drug Therapy, Combination/adverse effects , Drug Therapy, Combination/methods , Electrolytes/administration & dosage , Electrolytes/adverse effects , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Interdisciplinary Communication , Male , Medical Records Systems, Computerized/organization & administration , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Professional Role , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome
8.
Int J Clin Pharm ; 43(4): 1139-1148, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293413

ABSTRACT

One year since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid response measures have been implemented internationally to mitigate the spread of the virus. Following rapid and successful pre-clinical and human trials, several vaccines have been authorised for use across Europe through the European Medicines Agency and national regulatory authorities. Clinical trials have shown promising results including important reductions in disease severity, hospitalisation and mortality. In order to maximise the public health benefit of available vaccines, there is a pressing need to vaccinate a large proportion of the population. Internationally, this has prompted coordination of existing services at enormous scale, and development and implementation of novel vaccination strategies to ensure maximum inoculation over the shortest possible timeframe. Pharmacists are being promoted as healthcare professionals that enhance roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination programmes. This paper aims to summarise current policy and practice in relation to pharmacists' involvement in COVID-19 vaccination in 13 countries across Europe.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Health Policy , Pharmacists , Professional Role , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Europe , Humans , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacists/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Pharmacists'/organization & administration , Practice Patterns, Pharmacists'/statistics & numerical data
12.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(Suppl): S21-S25, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099983

ABSTRACT

Pharmacists' roles and training have evolved to prepare pharmacists to provide clinical patient care services as part of interdisciplinary teams in primary care settings. Especially now, amidst a global health crisis such as COVID-19, patients may become more aware of their health status and be exposed to increased medical information in the media. Additionally, some patients may have delayed routine care, which may result in exacerbations of chronic disease states. Pharmacists can help alleviate the burden on primary care providers by serving as a drug information resource for patients and staff while providing patient education on management of chronic disease states.


Subject(s)
Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Patient Education as Topic/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Professional Role , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Chronic Disease , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Education as Topic/methods , Primary Health Care/methods , United States/epidemiology
13.
Int J Clin Pharm ; 43(3): 708-715, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064566

ABSTRACT

Background Italy has been the first non-Asian country affected by Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Community pharmacies are essential services authorized to continue their activity during the emergency. To date, a clear image is lacking of the critical issues Italian community pharmacists had to face and of how they responded in their daily work.. Objective To describe procedures and critical logistical-organizational issues encountered by Italian community pharmacists and to collect the main requests reported by patients to pharmacists. Setting A national survey on Italian community pharmacists. Method A cross-sectional survey using a reasoned questionnaire was sent during the pandemic peak to Italian pharmacies, divided in two groups according to the incidence of COVID-19: "Red Zones" and "non-Red Zones". Main outcome measure Exploring the most frequently adopted measures by the pharmacists. Results 169 community Pharmacists answered the questionnaire. The most frequently adopted measures were the use of gloves, surgical masks and protective barriers at the drug counter. Most implemented services for customers were: booking of prescriptions, delivery of medications and implementation of phone consultations. Overall, the questionnaire highlighted an increase in the number of health-related consultations and requests by customers. In Red Zones, there was a higher use of FFP2 and FFP3 masks by pharmacists, where customers were mainly interested in gaining information about specific classes of medications. Conclusion Community pharmacists adapted to lockdown measures by implementing a number of measures. There was an overall increase in pharmacists' personal protective equipment in Red Zones possibly linked to increased risk perception.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pharmacists/organization & administration , COVID-19/prevention & control , Community Pharmacy Services/organization & administration , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergencies , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Personal Protective Equipment/statistics & numerical data , Pharmacists/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(2)2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024581

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunization rates among the adult population in Poland are below desired targets, urging the need to expand this service in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ultimate goals for limiting the spread of the infection are vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Pharmaceutical companies are in a race for the fastest possible way to deliver vaccines. Community pharmacists in Poland are recognised as an accessible yet underutilised group of medical professionals. Therefore, involving pharmacists in vaccinations may have beneficial results for the healthcare system. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to assess the readiness and willingness of community pharmacists following the Pharmacist Without Borders project who had either been trained or not in providing immunization services, and to identify the factors that may support the implementation of such services in Poland. METHODS: This study was conducted among pharmacists between February and August 2020 in Poland. A survey was developed to determine their readiness to provide vaccination services in their pharmacies, to recognise any barriers to vaccinations, as well as the factors necessary to implement vaccination services in Polish pharmacies. RESULTS: A total of 1777 pharmacists participated in the study, comprising 127 (7.1%) pharmacists trained in vaccinations during the Pharmacists Without Borders project and 1650 (92.9%) pharmacists not participating in the workshops. Pharmacists participating in the workshops more often indicated that providing vaccinations in community pharmacies would improve the overall vaccination rate (p = 0.0001), and that pharmacists could play an important role in advertising and promoting vaccinations (p = 0.0001). For the pharmacists not participating in the workshops, they indicated to a much greater extent possible barriers affecting the readiness to provide vaccinations in pharmacies. They most often pointed out that vaccination services would result in a significant workload increase (p = 0.0001), that pharmacies were not adapted to immunization, and that there were not enough training courses for pharmacists (p = 0.0001). CONCLUSION: The pharmacists working in community pharmacies indicated many advantages of vaccinations in pharmacies. This study identified barriers to the introduction of vaccinations and factors necessary to implement these services in pharmacies. The pharmacists trained during the immunization programme of the Pharmacists Without Borders project showed a greater readiness to provide immunization services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Community Pharmacy Services/organization & administration , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Adult , Humans , Immunization , Pandemics , Pharmacists/psychology , Poland , Professional Role , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
15.
Front Public Health ; 8: 561924, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000198

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in China in December 2019 which was later declared to be a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). This virus proved to be very contagious resulting in life-threatening respiratory intricacies posing overall public health and governance challenges. Amid the coronavirus pandemic and the unprecedented increase in healthcare demands, only inventive and adaptive practice among healthcare professionals is the need of the hour. Pharmacy services are an important mainstay in the public health and have considerable potential to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Pharmacists working in several localities and health facilities are linked to patients either directly or indirectly. They can act swiftly in public health response such as drafting professional service guidance to pharmacists working in various healthcare facilities, ensuring effective medicine supply system, monitoring and resolving drug shortage issues, establishing and promoting remote pharmacy services, counseling the public on infection prevention basics, educating about proper use of personal protective equipment, discouraging self-medication, participating in clinical trials, small-scale manufacturing of sanitizers and disinfectants, busting the prevailing myths, and conducting drug evaluation and active surveillance. These interventions will help ease unprecedented burden on healthcare facilities during the ongoing pandemic and eventually will add value to patients and the healthcare system. The current manuscript accentuates the potential roles and activities that pharmacists can initiate in various healthcare facilities to help in relieving pressure on the overwhelmed healthcare system. The information and suggestions offered in this review could help in the restructuring of existing pharmacy services by governments, public health bodies, and policy makers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, this manuscript will underscore any unrealized potential among pharmacists working in various sectors including community, hospital, industry, and drug regulatory authorities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Professional Role , Public Health , China , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 77(15): 1250-1256, 2020 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-972353

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The rapid spread of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has strained the resources of healthcare systems around the world. In accordance with recommendations from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and US Department of Defense, Intermountain Medical Center (IMED) in Murray, UT, has developed a plan to provide remote clinical pharmacy services to protect the health of pharmacy caregivers while maintaining appropriate clinical pharmacy coverage to optimally care for patients. SUMMARY: The utilization of telemedicine technology permits clinical pharmacists to readily communicate with nurses, physicians, other caregivers, and patients. We have identified strategies to allow clinical pharmacists to continue to participate in daily rounds, provide consultations under collaborative practice agreements, verify medication orders, collect medication histories, provide antimicrobial stewardship, and deliver medication education to patients from off-site locations. The pharmacy department at IMED proactively tested telemedicine technologies, defined the roles of clinical pharmacists, and identified communication strategies prior to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the state of Utah. CONCLUSION: The proactive measures described can help ensure that pharmacy caregivers have appropriate remote access and are capable of confidently using the resources. These steps allow for optimal care of hospitalized patients and promote social distancing, which may have the added benefit of decreasing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 among patients and caregivers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospitals, Special/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Workforce/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Communication , Humans , Medication Therapy Management/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/standards , Professional Role , Stroke/drug therapy , Telemedicine/standards , Utah/epidemiology , Wounds and Injuries/drug therapy
17.
Res Social Adm Pharm ; 17(1): 1908-1912, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907109

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has necessitated alterations to the delivery of healthcare services. Modifications include those made to improve patient and healthcare worker safety such as the use of personal protective equipment. Pharmacy services, specifically pharmacy transitions of care services have not been immune to change which have brought along their own set of unique challenges to consider. This paper discusses how COVID-19 has impacted the delivery of pharmacy transitions of care services with real world examples from Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. Procedures implemented to minimize the spread and contraction of COVID-19 such as minimized patient contact and altered visitor policies have made it more challenging to obtain a best possible medication list the patient was taking prior to arrival to the hospital which has lead to an increased reliance on secondary sources to complete medication histories. Regarding discharge prescriptions, preference has shifted to the use of electronic vs. hard copy prescriptions, mail order, and utilization of med to bed programs and other hospital medication delivery services to limit patient contact in outpatient pharmacies. An improved effort to resolve medication acquisition issues prior to discharge utilizing patient assistance programs and other hospital programs to cover the cost of medications for COVID positive patients under certain circumstances has been seen. This paper highlights the important role pharmacists can play in providing effective communication, supporting continuity of care, and advocating for patient engagement and empowerment during transitions of care in the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Patient Transfer/organization & administration , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Communication , Continuity of Patient Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Humans , Patient Discharge , Professional Role
18.
Res Social Adm Pharm ; 17(1): 1990-1996, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894201

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the biggest public health threat the world has seen in many years and poses new challenges and opportunities to healthcare systems. The new reality imposed by the pandemic requires a modification of practices to ensure the health and safety of patients and medical teams. The purpose of this article is to share the experiences of the pharmacy department of the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven of the most important issues will be addressed: crisis management, internal communications, employee stress, reorganisation of workspaces, reorganisation of pharmacist workforce, telework and schedule management. Some of the changes made in human resources deployment will likely remain even post-pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Workforce , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Hospitals, University , Humans
19.
J Clin Pharm Ther ; 46(1): 236-239, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883269

ABSTRACT

WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Clinical pharmacists actively participate in patient care via patients' medication use. Yet the setting of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) limits patient contact with healthcare personnel. We aimed to review the services provided and drug-related problems detected using telemonitoring methods to guide clinical pharmacists in providing service in treating COVID-19 patients. COMMENT: At a tertiary care hospital in Thailand, clinical pharmacists provided pharmaceutical care services for COVID-19 patients via telemonitoring using the hospital's computerized physician order entry system. The pharmacists were able to provide therapeutic drug monitoring services, especially for anticoagulants. Many patients were considered special populations, with individualized requirements for drug dosing. Some adverse drug reactions were observed. Drug-related problems were mostly related to medication use in critically ill patients. WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: Telemonitoring is a viable method for clinical pharmacists to provide pharmaceutical care and meet the challenges posed by treating patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Anticoagulants/administration & dosage , Critical Illness , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Drug Monitoring/methods , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions/epidemiology , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions/prevention & control , Humans , Patient Care/methods , Professional Role , Tertiary Care Centers , Thailand
20.
J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) ; 61(1): e35-e38, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-816605

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pharmacists are among the nation's most accessible and underused health professionals. Within their scope of practice, pharmacists can prescribe and administer vaccines, conduct point-of-care testing, and address drug shortages through therapeutic substitutions. OBJECTIVES: To better use pharmacists as first responders to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we conducted a needs and capacity assessment to (1) determine individual commitment to provide COVID-19 testing and management services, (2) identify resources required to provide these services, and (3) help prioritize unmet community needs that could be addressed by pharmacists. METHODS: In March 2020, pharmacists and student pharmacists within the Alaska Pharmacist Association worked to tailor, administer, and evaluate results from a 10-question survey, including demographics (respondent name, ZIP Code, cell phone, and alternate e-mail). The survey was developed on the basis of published COVID-19 guidelines, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 screening and management guidelines, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy guidance, and joint policy recommendation from pharmacy organizations. RESULTS: Pharmacies are located in the areas of greatest COVID-19 need in Alaska. Pharmacists are willing and interested in providing support. Approximately 63% of the pharmacists who completed the survey indicated that they were interested in providing COVID-19 nasal testing, 60% were interested in conducting COVID-19 antibody testing, and 93% were interested in prescribing and administering immunizations for COVID-19, as available. When asked about resources needed to enable pharmacists to prescribe antiviral therapy, 37% of the pharmacists indicated they needed additional education or training, and 39% required access to technology to bill and document provided services. CONCLUSION: The primary barrier to pharmacists augmenting the current COVID-19 response is an inability to cover the costs of providing these health services. Pharmacists in Alaska are ready to meet COVID-19-related clinical needs if public and private insurers and legislators can help address the barriers to service sustainability.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Responders , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Students, Pharmacy/statistics & numerical data , Alaska , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Humans , Pharmaceutical Services/economics , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pharmacists/economics , Professional Role , Surveys and Questionnaires
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