The key to integrated healthcare systems

This month, RxLive’s co-founder and CPO, Kristen Engelen, spoke with Marianne Ivey, Professor Emerita of the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati and former leader of Pharmacy Services at institutions such as the University of Cincinnati and University of Washington.

The conversation covers Marianne’s consultative approach to healthcare management and how the field of pharmacy is changing – and must change even more – to fit the needs of patients today.

In Marianne’s experience, building an integrated healthcare system that folds in pharmacy services offers enormous benefits. But it’s easier said than done. 

Why? Because innovation applies both to technology and the people who use it.

“If you don’t have a technology and information infrastructure,” Marianne says, “you don’t really have an integrated healthcare system.” So when Marianne worked on integrating these hospitals across her network, that was one of the first objectives: implement an information technology backbone.

“There were, of course, challenges related to the leadership itself – each of those individual hospitals had a Director of Pharmacy,” Marianne says, “So I learned to do things differently. I embraced diverse perspectives and recognized that I could change course if a certain perspective sounded like it was the right one.”

This agility has also served Marianne well in managing integrated healthcare systems, particularly when resources were limited.

“It’s hard to work on these issues by yourself,” Marianne says, “but when you have other talented colleagues in (and outside) the pharmacy enterprise, you can do great things.” And at the end of the day, healthcare is a people business.

For a more comprehensive look into Marianne’s thoughts on integrated healthcare systems, watch the full interview above.

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.