Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:00 AM

Pharmacists specialize in smaller, acutely ill patients in our new PICU

In the months before Community Regional Medical Center opened a pediatric Intensive care unit (PICU), the hospital’s pharmacy team prepped by building pediatric-specific medication order sets in our electronic medical record system and a pharmacy operations workflow was created. These were needed to ensure medications were optimized and safe for these little patients. 
Pediatric patients have different needs versus adults. They are given medications that are weight based.  They are also at a higher risk of medication errors, so having pharmacists work side by side with physicians and nurses in the PICU taking into consideration a child’s unique health problems helps reduce medication issues.
Community has been expanding pediatric services for the past two years and opened Community Regional’s PICU in September 2016 to care for our smallest and acutely ill patients. Community collaborates with UCSF Benioff Children’s hospitals to provide pediatric services and pediatric specialists.
To help provide support for this new unit, pharmacy services provides daily coverage with two PICU clinical pharmacists who specialize in medications tailored for children. 
Community Regional Pharmacy Leadership acknowledges and thanks the pediatric pharmacists involved for their time, hard work, and dedication in preparation for the new PICU service line.  Their teamwork was essential to ensure all the extensive work was completed.  In addition, this team created educational materials to help other pharmacists prepare for pediatric patients. The included:      

  • Harlan Husted, PharmD,BCPS

  • Melissa Reger, PharmD,BCPS

  • Tsung-Chi (George) Lien, PharmD, BCPS–CRMC pharmacy residency program alumnus

  • Laurie Covarrubias, PharmD–CRMC pharmacy residency program alumnus

Lastly, we would like to thank Community’s Pharmacy Services in celebration of National Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Week, October 15-21, 2017. National Hospital & Health-System Pharmacy Week is an annual celebration that focuses on acknowledging the vital contributions pharmacists and pharmacy technicians make towards ensuring exceptional patient care in our nation’s health care institutions. It is an ideal time for pharmacy departments to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements in ensuring safe and effective medication use in their institutions and to share those accomplishments with patients, other health professionals, and the community.
As part of this celebration, Pharmacy Services at Community Regional Medical Center would like to encourage employees and members of the community to “Know Your Medicine, Know Your Pharmacist” through hosting a variety of activities on Monday through Thursday, October 16 –19,  from noon to 1 p.m. in the Community Regional cafeteria.  Pharmacists will be illustrating the impact their profession has on patient care. Visitors will have an opportunity to interact with our staff, ask questions, and to enter a raffle for the chance to win a free Get Well gift basket!

Alice Robbins, PharmD, BCPS
Professional Development Manager and PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Director
Community Regional Medical Center
Leonard Valdez, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Manager
Community Regional Medical Center