Set Up a 'Decision Tree' to Enhance Patient Care in the Pharmacy

Matthew Malachowski, PharmD, BCPS, supervisor of specialty pharmacy services at UAB Health System, discusses how to optimize collaboration among the health care team to prepare for changes that occur throughout the course of a patient's care. 

These academic medical centers, community hospitals, pharmacies, whether they are retail, mail-order, big box national chains, or academic medical center institution retail pharmacies, there’s a lot of people that are involved in the care of these patients in these disease states. And generally, it is a very narrow range for success. Being able to identify the person that is technically educated and capable of making the appropriate decision, getting them the information about the patient that they need to make an appropriate decision, and then having the appropriate feedback so that everyone is on the same page for the patient’s plan of care, for any necessary changes that need to occur after a plan is established, and to rescue a patient when some sort of adverse or unexpected event occurs.
Having that communication set up in advance and to know the names, the faces, the contact information for those decision makers so that when these events occur, you know where the point of contact is and the patient knows where the point of contact is. Especially if you’re able to get everybody in the same room to set up a decision tree of as the care is occurring: how do we initiate, how do we identify patients, how do we pass that data and that information about the patient to the people that need it and then how do we have a channel for feedback so that we’re able to accommodate any sort of surprise that may come up through the course of that patient’s care.

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