Pharmacy team and the first Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines shipping box

This week during the annual National Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Week, October 17-23, AHS celebrates and honors the pharmacy   staff’s many contributions to our patients and community during these unprecedented and challenging times.

From the outset of the pandemic, Clinical Pharmacists and Pharmacy leadership assumed instrumental roles in the COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce and COVID-19 Treatment Committee. As soon as the FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the Pharmacy staff at all AHS sites were ready to hit the ground running!

The storage and preparation requirements did not come without hurdles, however our team triumphed and was able to ensure that vaccine administration began less than 24 hours after we received our first shipment.  The pharmacy team provided adequate supply and served as vaccinators in AHS COVID-19 vaccine clinics. They also volunteered at community vaccine events to promote access and equity throughout the Bay Area.

We are proud of the committed AHS Pharmacy team including leaders, pharmacists, technicians, residents and students who proved instrumental in the COVID-19 vaccine administration effort bringing us closer to ending the pandemic.

AHS pharmacists and technicians continue to be vital members of the patient care team supporting the evidence-based practice of delivering care through a multidisciplinary approach and moving beyond conventional roles.

Pharmacists who graduate today receive at least six years to eight years of education and many pharmacists practicing in hospitals and health systems also complete one to two years of post-graduate residency programs. Through their focused training in pharmacotherapy and medication use management pharmacists can provide services in a variety of settings including community pharmacies, ambulatory clinics, acute and long-term care.

Many pharmacists have direct patient care roles in chronic disease management including diabetes, heart failure, asthma, anticoagulation, HIV, oncology, infectious disease, critical care and trauma.

Now more than ever team-based health care is gaining traction and it is important to understand the services that pharmacy provides. Their contributions to strategic initiatives to provide high-quality care in a fiscally responsible way illustrates pharmacists’ expertise on the thousands of medications available today, how each one works in the body, and how to use each one safely and effectively.

They advise physicians and nurses on the best medications, monitor patients’ medication therapy and provide quality checks to detect and prevent harmful drug interactions, reactions or mistakes.

During Pharmacy Week, AHS and Pharmacy departments across all campuses will be celebrating the profession and its impact on our organization and the patients we serve.

Please take a moment to thank them for their contributions in delivering high-quality care.