CHICAGO, IL – Pharmacists and technicians throughout Cook County Health (CCH) will use National Hospital & Health-System Pharmacy Week, October 21-27, 2012, to underscore the many new and vital roles they now play in patient care. The evolution has been especially dramatic in recent years as pharmacists have moved beyond compounding and dispensing medications to become vital members of multidisciplinary patient-care teams.
“Many consumers are not aware that pharmacists play a critical role in preventing medication errors, advising prescribers on the best drug choices, and working directly with patients to ensure they understand how to use their medications safely and effectively,” said Eureva Walker, Director of Pharmacy, Cook County Health. “Pharmacy Week is a great way to educate the public about how pharmacists can help them get the most benefit from their medicine.”
During Pharmacy Week, the campus of John. H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County Health Services pharmacy department will have a pharmacy booth to answer questions from the public and medical staff.
The CCH pharmacies fill nearly 10,000 prescriptions every day.
Hospital and health-system pharmacists and technicians have been able to take on enhanced patient-care roles because of a number of factors, including the deployment of highly trained, certified technicians and new technologies like robotics that dispense medications. As technology evolves—such as the addition of machine-readable codes to medication labels—patients will have greater opportunities to have a pharmacist involved in their care.
Pharmacists are experts on the thousands of medications available today, how each one works in the body, and the ways to use each one safely and effectively. Pharmacists who graduate today receive six years of education focused on medication therapy, and many pharmacists practicing in hospitals and health systems also complete post-graduate residency programs. They advise doctors and nurses on the best medications and monitor every patient’s medication therapy and provide quality checks to detect and prevent harmful drug interactions, reactions, or mistakes. The Pharmacists, Technicians, and Support Staff at the Cook County Health & Hospitals are dedicated to providing patients with the highest quality care.