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Pharmacy Operations

Our Mission
The Pharmacy Department is an innovative team that safely and efficiently provides quality medication therapy and outcomes to the patients and communities we serve.

Our Vision
The members of the Deaconess Pharmacy Department, which is composed of over 95 pharmacists, over 75 technicians, 7 pharmacy interns, and 4 pharmacy residents, work together to provide the staffing: To be the regional leader in medication therapy by providing safe, quality, and cost-effective program that ensure proper medication use and will improve the health of our employees, patients, and community.

Pharmacy Leadership
The management model of the Pharmacy Department includes the following job roles: Director of Pharmacy/Laboratory/Radiology, Service Line Manager, Operations Manager, Deaconess Family Pharmacy Manager, Clinical Manager, Ambulatory Manager, Outpatient Manager and Regulatory Manager.   In addition, lead pharmacists and technicians 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 10 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 with highly-training Women's staff on-call.
  • Pharmacy, Laboratory and Radiology Services Director: Carrie Morton, PharmD, MBA
  • Pharmacy Service Line Manager: Brian Spencer, PharmD, BCPS
  • Clinical Manager: Meredith Petty, PharmD
  • Ambulatory Pharmacy Manager: Amy Harris, RPh, BCPS
  • Operations Manager, Justin Greubel: PharmD, BCPS, MHA
  • Regulatory Manager: Laura Stock, PharmD
  • Deaconess Family Pharmacy Manager: Tom Fite, RPh
  • Women’s Hospital Pharmacy Lead Pharmacist: Thomas Petersen, PharmD
  • Specialty Pharmacy Lead Pharmacist: Anna Gibson, PharmD, BCOP
  • Ambulatory Lead Pharmacist: Traci Fritschle, PharmD, BCPS, BCADM
  • Medication Safety Lead Pharmacist: Amanda Kelley, PharmD
  • Clinical Lead Pharmacist: Michelle Schymik, PharmD, BCPS
  • Operations Lead Pharmacist: Ellen Thacker, PharmD
  • Chairman of Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee: Mathias Kolleck, MD
  • Operations Lead Technician: Dylan Winkler, CPhT
  • Operations Lead Technician: Eric Lehman
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
  • Omnicell Automated Dispensing Cabinets
  • Baxa Abacus TPN Compounder
  • Portable phone for constant availability of clinical pharmacists
  • Alaris Smart Pump
Shared staff with the Clinical Informatics Department ensures constant maintenance and development of our electronic medical record and automatic dispensing systems. 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 using a cartless model with maximizes the utility of Omnicell Automated Dispensing Cabinet (ADC) and Single Point software.   This system allows efficient use of technician time and ensures that the medications are readily available to the nurse in the Omnicell at appropriate time.  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.  A perpetual inventory is maintained through PhACTs Carousel and this technology allows our distribution system to be entirely bar-code technology driven. 

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 benefits include monthly competencies, journal club, and expansion into additional roles after additional training. The hospital also encourages advanced credentials and provides 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).

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 175 FTEs currently budgeted to support all pharmacy services within the health system for the various inpatient and outpatient areas 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 self-scheduling model. This model has offered significant employee satisfaction while reducing turnover.

Turnover Rate < 3%

Deaconess Health System and the Pharmacy Department have been given numerous awards and recognized for service in professional organizations.
  • 2018 Deaconess Diabetes Prevention Program achieved Full Recognition as a Certified Diabetes Prevention Program by CDC
  • 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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