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Carla Beaton, Vice President of Quality & Innovations, Pharmapod

Carla Beaton

Vice President of Quality & Innovations, Pharmapod

The future of pharmacy lies in creating safety and workflow efficiencies for medication management systems using design think and quality improvement methodology.

Thirty-five years ago, during the March Pharmacy Appreciation Month, I was a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto about to start my career as a pharmacist in Canada. Looking back, I’ve never stopped thinking every day about how to be a better pharmacist and how to learn as much as I can to help patients feel better and use medication safely. I continue to be passionate about driving patient safety through quality improvements in medication management as well as improving the practice environment and the experience of providing pharmacy services in community pharmacy settings. I’m constantly amazed by pharmacists in Canada driving change to help their patients prevent disease, whether it’s by way of vaccinations or through preventative medications for chronic disease management.

Identifying medication errors is not only safe but cost-effective

Not all provinces have the same environments for pharmacists. Some have mandatory medication incident reporting and some don’t yet. Either way, pharmacists across Canada are stepping up to learn more about quality improvement methodology and using data to implement changes for medication error identification and reduction. Pharmacists are avoiding dangerous and inappropriate abbreviations, electronically reporting medication errors, and using quality tools, like in the Pharmapod platform, as well as conducting Medication Reconciliation (MedRec) to ensure patient safety. Pharmacist-led MedRec is the number one way to identify unintentional medication errors and improve patient safety. As an added bonus, it also reduces system costs by preventing expensive hospital visits and reducing unnecessary medications.1

Improving the experience of providing pharmacy services

There’s an inconsistency in the scope of practice for pharmacists across Canada. We applaud those leading the way where pharmacists offer convenient times for patient-centered appointments. These pharmacists are conducting patient assessments and either prescribing treatments or offering preventative solutions to help their patients feel better. From vaccinations (such as COVID-19) to acute minor ailments (such as UTIs) and chronic disease management (such as hypertension), what is still required, and what I’m passionate about at Pharmapod, is to provide the tools to enable pharmacists to access the information they need when they need it.

Digital efficient records, referrals, and paperless communications will improve the experience so pharmacists can utilize their knowledge, skills, and judgment to actively make decisions that provide patient-centered care and optimize health outcomes for patients. Just think what pharmacists could accomplish!

1. Healthcare Quarterly (23(3) October 2020 : 34-39.doi:10.12927/hcq.2020.26335 Innovation in Health Services Cost Impact of a Pharmacist-Driven Medication Reconciliation Program.

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