For Immediate Release – Halifax: A new collaborative practice agreement in the IWK Emergency Department (ED) means doctors now have more time to focus on patients seeking help in the ED. Since January 2017, a clinical pharmacy specialist has been following up on laboratory investigations ordered on ED patients, freeing up emergency doctors from the task.
The first position of its kind in Nova Scotia, the clinical pharmacy specialist is able to independently assess and prescribe antibiotic therapy based on test results in patients over 3 months of age seen in the ED. The specialist can assess results, review charts, counsel the family and even call in the prescription to a local pharmacy.
“We are working very hard to build new innovations into our practice so that our patients get the help they need as quickly as possible,” says Dr. Shannon MacPhee, Chief of Emergency Medicine at the IWK. “We are fortunate to have a skilled pharmacy specialist partnering with us to ensure we are acting on our lab tests in a timely manner. This allows us more time to see new patients who are coming into the ED.”
Until now ED physicians have been responsible for the review and follow up of lab results on patients who have already been sent home, while still maintaining care of patients currently present in the ED as a priority. With the addition of a clinical pharmacy specialist the ED doctors have fewer competing priorities, enabling the focus to be on patients in the ED.
“It is important for pharmacists to practice collaboratively with other health care providers in the best interest of our patient’s health outcomes,” says Dr. Melanie MacInnis, a clinical phar-macy specialist at the IWK. “Since this collaborative practice agreement has been in place it has been incredibly well received by physicians, administrators within the IWK, and the pharmacist community as a whole. I’m looking forward to other such collaborative practices emerging in the province.”
The impact of this new collaborative practice agreement will be studied with the help of a grant from the Dalhousie College of Pharmacy Endowment Fund.Share