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Pharmacy Operations

Deaconess Pharmacy Mission
To provide quality pharmacy services with a compassionate and caring spirit to the customers we serve.

Deaconess Pharmacy Values
  • Commitment to quality - Quality is defined as continuous improvement of pharmacy services to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of the customers we serve
  • Commitment to medication safety - Assure that patients receive the appropriate medications in the safest manner to obtain the best possible outcome
  • Commitment to drug information and continuous learning - Deaconess Pharmacy provides drug information and supports continuous learning for staff, students and peers to promote medication safety and proper drug utilization for the customers we serve

Pharmacy Leadership
The management model of the Pharmacy Department includes the following job roles: Director of Pharmacy, Operations Manager, Clinical Manager, Ambulatory Manager, Outpatient Manager and Regulatory Manager. In addition, lead pharmacists are involved in the daily management of operations, women/children's services, medication safety, antimicrobial stewardship, clinical services and ambulatory areas. These pharmacists focus in their respective areas to improve safe medication delivery, remarkable clinical services, and program development. The Director of Pharmacy reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer.

Hours of Operation and Key Contacts
The Pharmacy Department is open 24 hours per day at Deaconess Midtown Hospital and Deaconess Gateway Hospital. The Women’s Hospital Pharmacy operates from 6 AM to 6 PM during the weekdays and 7 AM to 3:30 PM on weekends. Pharmacy services for The Women’s Hospital are provided by Gateway Pharmacy after hours.
  • Pharmacy Director: Carrie Morton, PharmD, MBA
  • Clinical Supervisor: Meredith Petty, PharmD
  • Ambulatory Pharmacy Supervisor: Amy Harris, RPh
  • Operations Supervisor, Justin Greubel: PharmD, BCPS, MHA
  • Regulatory Supervisor: Laura Stock, PharmD
  • Women’s Hospital Pharmacy Lead Pharmacist: Thomas Petersen, PharmD
  • Specialty Pharmacy Lead Pharmacist: Anna Gibson, RPh
  • MTM/Anticoagulation Clinic Lead Pharmacist: Traci Fritschle, PharmD, BCPS
  • Medication Safety Lead Pharmacist: Brian Spencer, PharmD, BCPS
  • Clinical Lead Pharmacist: Michelle Schymik, PharmD, BCPS
  • Gateway/Heart Hospital Operations Lead Pharmacist: Stephen Potts, PharmD
  • Midtown/Cross Pointe Operations Lead Pharmacist: Tyler Scott, PharmD
  • Family Pharmacy Lead Pharmacist: Tom Fite, RPh
  • Chairman of Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee: Mathias Kolleck, MD
Medication Distribution and Technology
The pharmacy provides 24 hour and 365 day access to pharmacist and pharmacy services. Technology plays a very important role in the distribution process within Deaconess Health System. The Pharmacy Department is highly automated and utilizes
  • Epic Hospital Enterprise System
  • PhACTs Carousel with Pharmogistics software
  • McKesson HBOC Automated Healthcare Robotic System
  • Omnicell Automated Dispensing Cabinets
  • Baxa Abacus TPN Compounder
  • Spectralink phone for constant availability of clinical pharmacists
  • Alaris Smart Pump
  • DoseEdge technology
Shared staff with the Clinical Informatics Department ensures constant maintenance and development of our electronic medical record and automatic dispensing systems. The IV room was recently remodeled to be a state of the art USP797-compliant area. It is obvious that the department is constantly striving to provide the most up-to-date equipment and technology to ensure patient and staff safety.

Pharmacists who are working in the Central Pharmacy are working in a well-planned, modern, spacious environment. 

Medication distribution is accomplished using a combination of centralized and decentralized automation. The McKesson robotic system, located on the Midtown campus, provides the majority of medication fills for Midtown and Gateway locations. The combination of Dispense Prep, Dispense Check, and Dispense Track use barcode technology to help provide an added level of safety for sterile product preparation and distribution. The Omnicell Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADC) are the primary distribution system for Cross Pointe and The Women's Hospital, as well as the first doses for the Midtown and Gateway locations. A perpetual inventory is maintained through PhACTs Carousel and this technology allows our distribution system to be entirely bar-code technology driven. In addition, DoseEdge technology improves patient safety by allowing remote double-check verification of oncology preparations in the oncology satellite pharmacies.

The hospital launched a hospital-wide information system called Epic in November 2009. The Ambulatory components of Epic, which are managed by the pharmacy department, include the Deaconess Anticoagulation Clinic and the Medication Therapy Management Program (MTM). The MTM clinic has expanded to play a role in the health system's wellness program. The Epic inpatient system encompasses the pharmacy order verification component, electronic MAR, bedside barcode administration, as well as nursing clinical records. Computerized physician order management (CPOM) is also performed in Epic and pharmacy is involved in the development of decision support used in CPOM.  

Pharmacy manages the drug database for the wireless Alaris System technology. Alaris Smart Pump technology and point of care activated devices are utilized throughout the health system to ensure safe medication administration of IV related products.

Training and Credentials
Eight weeks of one-on-one on the job training and mentoring about pharmacy specific policies and procedures is provided for pharmacists and technicians. Training time is dependent upon previous experience and background.

Education and training continue to be a benefit and are strongly encouraged well after the initial phase of training. These include monthly competencies, group discounts for Pharmacist letter, as well as travel to local, regional and national meetings. The hospital also encourages advanced credentials and provides reimbursement and additional compensation for successful completion of Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (BCPS) certification, National Certified Anticoagulation Care Provider Certification (CACP), or a master’s degree (MBA, MHA).
Deaconess Pharmacy Graph
All technicians are required to obtain their PTCB certification within a reasonable time from hire.

Technician to Pharmacist Ratio, Staffing and Turnover/Vacancy Rates
Technicians complete the drug fills with pharmacists, checking doses prior to dispensing. Due to the use of technology, the technician to pharmacist ratio is slightly less than 2:1. Approximately 92% of drugs are dispensed by the robot, which does not require a double check by the pharmacist in the state of Indiana, whereby allowing for more clinical intervention time. Pharmacist checks are critical at the time of packaging to assure accuracy of bar coding for the robot and for ADC fills.

There are 98 FTEs currently budgeted to support all pharmacy services within the health system and currently 156 employees staffed in the various inpatient and outpatient areas. The mean number of pharmacists and technicians is consistent with the ASHP national benchmarks. A patient centered integrated model is used for patient care. Staffing is provided using a family-friendly scheduling model. This model has offered significant employee satisfaction while reducing turnover.

Turnover Rate
Pharmacist    3.48%    national benchmark 5.7%
Technicians   3.48%     national benchmark 12.1%

Vacancy rate:
Pharmacist   2%   national benchmark 2.8%
Technicians   1%   national benchmark 3.6%

Deaconess Health System and the Pharmacy Department have been given numerous awards and recognized for service in professional organizations.
  • 2015 Designated Anticoagulation Center of Excellence for both Inpatient Pharmacy Services and Outpatient Deaconess Anticoagulation Clinic 
  • Deaconess Health System was awarded HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 which honors those hospitals achieving the highest EHRAM (Electronic Health Record Adoption Model). Only 66 hospitals in the nation had achieved this level of success by 2012.
  • 2013 Deaconess Anticoagulation Clinic designated as an Anticoagulation Center of Excellence
  • 2013 Deaconess Pharmacy was awarded Preceptor Excellence Award from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
  • 2012 Deaconess Pharmacy was awarded Indiana Pharmacists Alliance Organization Medication Safety Award
  • 2012 Laura Stock, Medication Safety Pharmacist, was awarded Indiana Pharmacists Alliance Individual Medication Safety Award
  • Deaconess Health System named a Most Wired Hospital for six years in a row
  • The 2015 Initiative Award from the American Society of Health System Pharmacists for Nesiritide project
  • National VHA Supply Chain Management Award for service excellence related to the Pharmacy Surgery Satellite
  • EQUAL Award from the Evansville Chamber of Commerce for quality improvement in Surgery Satellite Services
Pharmacists and the respective technical staff serve as a critical component in the delivery of medication safety throughout the Deaconess Health System (DHS) to assure optimal patient outcomes. The culture of DHS is focused on patient/employee/physician satisfaction and patient safety using evidence based medicine to provide the best possible outcomes for patients served. It is our goal to ensure every patient receives the highest quality care.
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