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Final Thoughts and Observations from my Time at LASH

Rxpert Solutions > Blogs > Final Thoughts and Observations from my Time at LASH

LASH Pharmacy team

The LA Surge Hospital Pharmacy Department is officially closed. Refrigerators have been unplugged and pharmacy keys have been turned in. The Discontinuance of Business form has been sent to the Board of Pharmacy. I made my final drive from LA back home to San Diego. Good timing as traffic between the two cities is starting to pick up, and instead of a straight shot home as has been the case for the last two months, Google Maps had me rerouting to avoid the worst of the traffic.

Some observations from my time at LASH. First, we loved our nurses and they provided great care. They came from all over and were excited to be part of the team and yet we still saw the same types of process issues we see in other hospitals. I don’t know why, but I figured some of those would not exist because we had a smaller team and census, but they did! Medications were not transferred with patients as they moved to another unit. Medications were taken out on override rather than wait the 1-3 minutes for the pharmacist to verify. Meds could not be found without the help of the pharmacy tech pointing directly at it. And, we would get calls asking for a new drip because theirs would be dry in 10 minutes! I suspect if we asked the nurses for their observations they would say that there were delays in med deliveries too! Perhaps we can find comfort in the fact that hospitals everywhere have some consistency.

Some thoughts on the leadership team. I’m guessing various people from Kaiser, Dignity and perhaps the State of California reached out to contacts to assemble the leadership team so the credit does not go to any one person. The resulting team was fantastic. We’ve probably all worked places where one or more people in leadership didn’t perform at a high level which left us wondering how they got their position. That was not the case at LASH. This was truly a fantastic team. Their attitudes were positive and supportive. They knew what they were doing within their field and in many cases had a comprehensive knowledge of several areas within the facility. The physicians were team players and always open to suggestions. It was really quite something to see a team that was meeting each other for the first time work together so well.

Some thoughts on pharmacy items specifically. The looming threat of drug shortages and high usage of certain meds in the COVID-19 patient population resulted in us over ordering. Don’t fret, the meds will be used by other hospitals, but it was a bit crazy to see what we had left at closing time. Just because staff states compounding experience on their resume, it does not guarantee competence. At a previous hospital, I started having potential applicants demonstrate their technique as part of the interview, so I should have known better. Because I made sure there were multiple years of IV room experience on the resumes, I guess I let my guard down on that one! Once fully staffed with pharmacists, it paved the way for them to attend rounds which lasted hours. They lasted anywhere from 2-5 hours because the physicians leading them could be different daily and each time the physician needed to get up to speed. I felt it important the pharmacists participate because the more we understood about these patients the more prepared we would be and the physicians really appreciated the pharmacist’s input. Also, a capable pharmacist flourishes when they are allowed to participate in rounding, codes, and decisions surrounding protocol development and workflow. This certainly proved true for the LASH team.

This was a wonderful experience and a memory the entire LASH team will cherish for years to come. Thank you for reading my weekly blogs and being a part of this journey!

Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.- – Jack Kornfield

Our References

Terri is absolutely phenomenal. She is an incredibly knowledgeable pharmacy resource. As the medication safety officer, the quality initiatives she implemented not only impacted the patients at our medical center but also reached into the community. Terri is a genuine professional who upholds accountability while creating community among her team members. She is a great listener to identify friction points and has actionable ideas to implement improvements.

Lab
T. Eagle. MBA, MLS(ASCP), CLS Lab Operations Manager

Terri is an expert at prospective risk identification -Failure, Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). Terri participated in CHPSO Patient Safety Safe Tables and was part of the Hospital Quality Institute’s Regional Quality and Patient Safety Leader Network.
She is an excellent public speaker and communicates well with public and professional audiences. I look forward to her continued work in medication safety.

Regional Quality Network at HQI
A. Munoz, FACHE, CPHQ, CPPS VP

Terri has done a tremendous job with the controlled substance diversion program. She has had such a positive impact and has really made the hospital a safer place.

Tri-City Medical Center
Nurse Manager

We would not be where we are with the improvements we have made with opioid prescribing if it were not for Terri driving the process.

Tri-City Emergency Medical Group
Chief Physician

In addition to understanding the ins and outs of the [controlled substance use] process completely, she is very proactive in coming to me with provider issues that she detects. She truly balances the administrative duties and the regulatory components demand with a keen sense of what my practitioners do and what their needs are on the ground. Terri is instrumental in working with my department, balancing patient care, cooperation, ability, and integrity to get the job done.

UCSD Medical Center
Chief Anesthesiologist

Terri is knowledgeable and effective in pharmacy leadership. She has the ability to be able to anticipate and prepare for the future. Her ability to utilize resources effectively in this changing environment is a strong asset. She can adapt, evolve, mentor and still never say “no” when asked to assist. She exhibits great abilities to be flexible and is a “self starter”. She has a pleasant yet effective demeanor that commands results.

Candace Fong, Pharm D
System Director of Pharmacy and Medication Safety Common Spirit Health

Terri has always impressed me as being very smart. resourceful, creative, and easy to work with. Terri’s commitment to medication safety permeated our organization, raising the awareness of this important issue throughout all levels of the institution. Terri has always been engaged, cooperative, and generous with her time.

Cary Mells, MD
Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine Tri-City Medical Center

Terri has done more for the Pharmacy in her few months as Interim Pharmacy Director than any other Director has done during my 12 years here.

Anita Kennedy, MBA
VP of Ancillary Services Methodist Hospital

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  • 760.705.4078
  • tvidals@rxpert.solutions