Issue No. 16. The Collaborative Practice®: February 2024

Innovation at the Intersection of Pharmacy and Technology

Welcome to the first 2024 issue of The Collaborative Practice®. As we embark on a new year, our focus remains steadfast on celebrating the remarkable role of clinical pharmacists in healthcare. This January, we delve into the evolving responsibility of pharmacists in driving patient outcomes and elevating the standard of care.

The evolving healthcare landscape increasingly acknowledges pharmacists not just as medication experts but as vital contributors to patient health. This shift extends beyond traditional roles, placing pharmacists at the forefront of accountability for patient outcomes. As this responsibility grows, so does the importance of equipping pharmacists with the necessary tools to effectively measure, benchmark, and communicate their impact on patient care.

Let’s have a great new year! 
From the Team at RxLive


Spotlight Interview

Navigating the Future with Steve Riddle

This month, we are honored to feature Steve Riddle, a visionary in the realm of pharmacy innovation. With his rich experience spanning health system pharmacy, consultancy, and health information technology, Steve shares invaluable insights into the integration of technology in pharmacy practice, highlighting the transformative potential for patient care.

Interview Highlights:

  • Fostering Innovation: Steve emphasizes the critical need for an environment that nurtures innovation, with pharmacists playing a key role in bridging clinical needs with technological solutions. (Check out Steve’s 5 Keys for an Innovative Team below)

  • Pharmacists as Healthcare Connectors: Steve highlights the unique position of pharmacists as vital connectors within the healthcare system, seamlessly bridging the gap between clinical needs and technological solutions. This role underscores the importance of pharmacists in translating complex healthcare data into actionable insights, thereby enhancing patient care and outcomes.

  • Technology Adoption in Pharmacy: He discusses effective strategies for embracing new technologies, underlining the importance of understanding the ‘why’ behind each innovation.

  • Emerging Trends: Steve identifies emerging trends that are reshaping pharmacy practice, including the impact of AI, advancements in clinical decision support, and the rise of patient engagement platforms.

  • The Pharmacist’s Future Role: Looking ahead, Steve envisions a future where pharmacists leverage technology to provide unparalleled patient care, supported by data analytics and AI.

Steve’s interview offers a glimpse into a future where pharmacists utilize technology to enhance healthcare delivery, emphasizing the profession’s evolving role in a tech-driven world.

Feel free to connect with us and be a part of this transformative journey in healthcare.

Bonus Content

Steve’s 5 Keys for an Innovative Team

Leveraging his expertise in Quality and Performance Improvement across health systems and clinical technology, Steve Riddle’s proven track record in driving healthcare innovation establishes his authority in presenting effective strategies for fostering a culture of innovation within teams.

  • Create Space for Innovation: Dedicate time for team members to explore and brainstorm, encouraging exploration beyond daily tasks.
  • Embrace Diversity of Thought: Foster a team with varied backgrounds to introduce a wide range of ideas and challenge conventional thinking.
  • Adopt an Agile Mindset: Utilize agile principles to emphasize adaptability, continuous improvement, and responsiveness to change.
  • Cultivate Open Communication: Ensure a safe space for sharing ideas and feedback, promoting collaboration and innovation.
  • Focus on Problem Definition: Prioritize understanding problems thoroughly before proposing solutions, ensuring targeted and effective innovation.

Patient Case

Critical Medication Management in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

This month’s patient case highlights the indispensable role of pharmacists in managing complex medication regimens, particularly for patients undergoing cancer treatment. We present a case involving a 77-year-old female patient with pancreatic cancer, facing challenges with her medication management.

Complex Medication Management in Cancer Care:

Challenge Identified: The patient was prescribed Xeloda for pancreatic cancer treatment and pantoprazole for dyspepsia/GERD. However, the concurrent use of pantoprazole, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), with Xeloda is discouraged due to potential interactions affecting the absorption of Xeloda and thus its efficacy.

Pharmacist’s Assessment and Plan:

Medication Adjustment: The pharmacist recommended switching from pantoprazole to famotidine to avoid the interaction and ensure the effectiveness of Xeloda’s cancer treatment.

Follow-up and Outcome:

Successful Implementation: The patient’s medication was changed to famotidine and spaced separately from the administration of the Xeloda to ensure its proper absorption and efficacy for her cancer treatment. The patient reported her GERD well-managed following the switch. 

This case underscores the critical role of pharmacists in navigating complex medication regimens, ensuring patient safety, and optimizing treatment effectiveness through vigilant assessment and strategic medication management.

Stories we’re following

This February, we’re spotlighting several developments at the forefront of pharmacy and technology:

Seeing Through the Fog of ‘Pharmageddon’: Pharmacies are facing staffing shortages but pharmacists have opportunities to expand care delivery through innovation. 

University of Michigan Pharmacist Program Goes National: The CDC is scaling nationally a U of M pharmacist program that has shown strong results controlling patients’ blood pressure.

Pharmacist referrals drive sixfold more appropriate statin prescriptions: Automatically referring patients to pharmacists for statin therapy increased the odds of appropriate statin prescriptions sixfold compared to usual physician care.

Pharmacists: The Heart of Health this Valentine’s:Highlighting their vital role, pharmacists offer essential heart health counseling and education, proving crucial in the fight against the leading killer in the U.S. during American Heart Month.

Stay tuned as we explore these trends, demonstrating the dynamic role of pharmacists in driving healthcare innovation.

Kristen Engelen, PharmD
Kristen Engelen, PharmD, is the chief pharmacy officer of RxLive and a certified consultant pharmacist; she has over a decade of experience in retail pharmacy settings. Kristen became an RxLive co-founder because of her passion for geriatric pharmacy, with a focus on the intersection of pharmacy and aging.