Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center on Friday celebrated a significant improvement in its ability to provide high-end pharmacy care with the dedication of a new, $1 million Center for Pharmaceutical Services.
Located on the medical center’s seventh floor, the new center meets and in some cases exceeds U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations for patient and staff safety – including new standards set to go into effect this December.
In addition to moving pharmaceutical services closer to the medical center’s patient care floors – it’s located adjacent to the hospital’s critical care unit – the new facility will implement new technology and give Memorial’s pharmacists a sterile room – called a clean room – in which to compound high-end and often powerful medications such as chemotherapy drugs.
“Our accomplished team of staff pharmacists are board-certified pharmacotherapy specialists -- the gold standard for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels,” said Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo. “The opening of this new center will provide them with a modern facility suitable to the practice of their very important profession.”
Pharmacy Director Michelle Lewis, Pharm.D., said the new center will also fulfill another very important objective for her team: “This move is going to significantly improve our workflow efficiency, allowing our pharmacists to spend more time at the bedside with our patients counseling them and educating them about their medications.”
Memorial’s pharmacy staff uses a decentralized model that assigns its pharmacists to the medical center’s patient care areas. This allows them to work directly with prescribers, nursing staff and patients, and provides for the consistent reviewing of proper doses, drug interactions and side effects. Medication counseling is also provided to patients as they complete their hospital stay.
“By working right on the floor. we get to know our patients, monitor them and follow them from admission to discharge,” Lewis said.
The pharmacy staff at Memorial comprises 16 pharmacists, three pharmacy technicians, and two support personnel. It’s also home to a residency program that is fully accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists and has two enrolled postgraduate resident pharmacists and five interns.
Nicole Webb, shown greeting visitors to the new center, is a post-graduate pharmacy resident in the hospital’s American Society of Health System Pharmacists-accredited residency program.