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Development and Implementation of a Pharmacist Competency Program

Laura Duvall


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Conference: 2011 PH Professional Network Symposium

Release Date: 09.22.2011

Presentation Type: Abstracts

L. Duvall, PharmD, BCPS
The Ohio State University Medical Center, Department of Pharmacy, Columbus, OH

OBJECTIVE: To describe the process of developing and implementing a pharmacist competency program to ensure all pharmacy practitioners whom encounter pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients and their medications are competent and comfortable to assess these medications and to transition the patient's home supply to hospital supply when indicated.

SIGNIFICANCE: The role of the pharmacist in the hospital setting is to ensure safe and accurate dosing of all medications and to serve as a clinical medication management consultant. Current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved PAH medications include endothelin receptor antagonists, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, and prostacyclin analogues. In order to ensure that pharmacists are adequately educated to understand the PAH medications that patients are prescribed at home, a competency program was developed.

DESIGN: The pharmacy competency program was developed to ensure that all pharmacists within the institution had the baseline knowledge required to care for the variety of patient populations that are encountered within a large academic medical center. All pharmacists within the institution were required to take competency exams in the areas of code blue, antibiotics/kinetics, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)/pediatrics, total parenteral nutrition, and PAH. The PAH competency consisted of 10 multiple choice questions, and pharmacists were required to achieve a score of 80% to pass the exam. The pharmacy staff were provided with a 1-hour PAH review one month prior to the testing day. All information pertaining to the assessment of PAH patients and their medications was also available on the pharmacy intranet. Pharmacists are especially utilized in the hospital setting to assess patients that are admitted on continuously infused prostacyclin therapy, epoprostenol or treprostinil, therefore 60% of the exam tested understanding of these medications. Pharmacists that did not achieve 80% or better on the PAH competency were required to participate in a one-on-one remediation session with the pulmonary hypertension clinical pharmacy specialist.

IMPLICATIONS: One hundred and fifteen pharmacists took the PAH competency exam. One hundred and twelve pharmacists achieved a score of 80% or better, and three pharmacists were required to participate in remediation. Upon completion of the competency tests, all pharmacists were required to take a survey about the process. Pharmacists reported that the code blue, (NICU)/pediatrics, and PAH competencies refreshed their skills set the most. The majority of the pharmacists in the department felt that the tests were fair and 76% of the pharmacists surveyed thought that competencies should be reassessed on a yearly basis as a requirement for employment within the department.