Service & Prescriptions, Coming and Going: October 21, 2012

When you leave the hospital after an illness or injury, the staff hopes they won’t see you again. It’s in everyone’s best interest if you get what you need. Right down to your medications.

“With the increased focus on reducing readmissions, it is more imperative that pharmacies, hospitals and health systems get that holistic view to healing the patient,” says Mark Collum, Director of Ambulatory Pharmacy Services with Lee Memorial Health System.

And so Lee Memorial Health System joined the ranks of hospitals which incorporate in-house pharmacies. It gives health workers one more opportunity to interact with patients.

“One of our main focuses is to make sure the patient understands their medication before they leave the hospital. So they understand why they’re taking the medication, how they’re taking their medication and make sure that they’re taking their medication,” says Curt Hearn, pharmacist.

Without the financial pressures facing community-based drug stores, a hospital pharmacy stocks medications that may not be economically feasible for a store, but necessary for a patient.

“We have some very expensive antibiotics like Zyvox and Vancomycin oral, as well as Lovenox and other high-risk specialty injectable medications.  Not every pharmacy has those on the shelf, as they’re very expensive to carry. But we want to make sure that we have them for a person when they go home, such that they don’t have to go on a search now in the community pharmacy to find it,” says Collum.

Those medicines are for very specific issues, namely reducing the risk of blood clots, fighting pneumonia and treating colitis. It comes down to service and safety. Medication mix-ups are a constant concern in health care.

“We have access to the patients’ medical records so that we can make sure the meds that they’re going home with match what they were taking in the hospital,” says Collum.

Both HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital have on site pharmacies, ready when you are.