The most important asset at VUMC is the committed staff members. Our Pharmacy is very fortunate to have motivated knowledgeable staff committed to working with the healthcare team providing the best care to our patients.
The department has approximately 230 staff members composed of 90 pharmacists, 120 technicians, and 20 support staff. Approximately 36% of the pharmacists are graduates of the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. Another 37% are graduates of other southeastern colleges of pharmacy (Samford University, University of Mississippi, Auburn University, University of Florida, Medical University of South Carolina, Mercer University, University of Kentucky, University of South Carolina, Georgia, Shenandoah, West Virginia) and the remaining 27% are graduates of colleges of pharmacy from across the world such as Butler, Colorado, Connecticut, Creighton, Drake, Iowa, Maryland, Northeast Louisiana, Ohio Northern, Ohio State, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, State University of New York, Southwest Oklahoma, Washington State, Germany, and South Africa. This provides excellent variation and a unique approach to our pharmacy practice.
VUMC Pharmacy has 62% pharmacists with a B.S. degree, 36% with a Pharm. D. and 2% with M.S., while 21% have completed residencies - 8% also have specialty certification. The average length of service for VUMC pharmacists is twelve years with a turnover rate of 2.2% (based on last 12 months). Sixteen new pharmacist positions have been added since Jan 03 to support growth at VUMC including Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Outpatient Pharmacy services, and renovated adult inpatient care units.
The department utilizes systems that provide the tools necessary for the pharmacist to provide the best possible service to the patients - this starts with information. The institution provides online resources through the Eskind Biomedical Library inlcuding Micromedex, OVID, Facts & Comparisons, AHFS, Martindale's, and many more. VUMC also has a network of clinical workstations which permit access to up-to-date integrated patient information.
A computer order entry system is utilized providing the prescribers with decision support and a safe effective method to communicate orders. The pharmacy is actively involved in supporting this system, which leverages the pharmacist's knowledge by providing information at the point of order entry. The system is interfaced with the pharmacy computer system so all orders are received and processed electronically.
The department also utilizes automated dispensing cabinets on each patient care unit to support the unit dose and IV admixture programs. The extensive use of automated dispensing cabinets and computerized order entry are efforts to reduce time required for dispensing activities so the pharmacist might be more actively involved assuring that optimal drug therapy is provided to each patient. The pharmacy has also pursued dispensing technology in the Outpatient Pharmacy to automate the prescription filling process.
Pharmacy-proactive opportunities at Vanderbilt include staff pharmacist work, management, clinical services, and various innovative practices. Currently included at Vanderbilt are interactive opportunities with patients, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in a tertiary care center. As pharmacists begin their career at Vanderbilt, staff services provide a challenging day-to-day learning experience. Upon obtaining additional experience, pharmacists have found other opportunities, such as the anticoagulant clinic, informatics, specialty compounding services, investigational drug service, and teaching opportunities. Pharmacists with specialty training have opened and maintained state-of-the-art patient oriented services in internal medicine, critical care, ambulatory care, trauma, cardiology, nutrition, geriatrics, oncology, pediatrics and transplantation.
Pharmacists at Vanderbilt learn as a part of every day's experience. In addition, the department encourages the progression of obtaining continuing education, board certifications, and other certificate and graduate experiences. Pharmacists at Vanderbilt have been able to use their educational accomplishments to advance with the department and other areas of the medical center.
All Pharmacy staff members are expected to contribute to the planning, control, coordination and management in their respective areas. This is facilitated by the development of goals, objectives, and outcome indicators for each pharmacy area.