Willing Collaboration

Teamwork between pharmacists

I am often reminded of one of the aspects I appreciate most about my pharmacist colleagues. Willing collaboration. It has been a really long time since I have been in school, so I can’t speak to how competitive pharmacy school or residency are now. However, I can tell you that once you get out into the world of practicing pharmacists, you will find it to be a profession where we are all open to helping each other. Pharmacy can be a hard world to navigate. With all the different regulations that impact us, solid policies and procedures are an essential piece of our day to day practice. Of course we can have the best policies and procedures around, but if we don’t follow them, they mean nothing. On the flip side, if we don’t thoroughly understand what the requirements are, we can’t write comprehensive policies, and therefore won’t have good policies to follow even if we wanted to. I appreciate the way those in leadership share policy content, lessons learned, and speak openly regarding new regulations coming around the corner and what it may mean to operations and compliance. Those with more experience on the job, or those who are are post survey, have always been willing to share what they have done to avoid a finding or correct a finding. It has provided fair warning for countless others in leadership so they may correct their operations proactively. Focus groups are popping up all the time to work collaboratively on making something better or more compliant.

I have also seen continual collaboration between those on the clinical side. Sharing of protocols that have worked. Sharing best practice. Sharing lessons learned from medication errors.  Sharing lessons learned from orders that don’t meet regulatory standards and how they have adjusted order sets to meet compliance (I think everyone is still grappling with range orders!). Recently at ASHP Mid-Year, there were focus group sessions on cannabis and opioid stewardship. Two complicated topics. The attendees were very open in sharing their struggles with what hasn’t worked and the successes of what has.

I can’t think of a single time a pharmacist colleague has withheld information when asked to share their experiences, policies, or protocols. Perhaps all industries are like this. All I know is that I appreciate all of you and your willingness to share so we can make what we do a bit less painful and a whole lot safer. Thank you.

Collaboration is a key part of the success of any organization, executed through a clearly defined vision and mission and based on transparency and constant communication. – Dinesh Paliwal

Terri Vidals
Terri Vidals

Terri has been a pharmacist for over 30 years and is a drug diversion mitigation and monitoring subject matter expert. Her years of experience in various roles within hospital pharmacy have given her real-world insight into risk, compliance, and regulatory requirements, as well as best practices for medication and patient safety.

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