2014 Recipient and Finalists

The recipient of the 2014 Award for Excellence in Medication-Use Safety, which is sponsored by Cardinal Health, was announced at a dinner honoring the awardees on December 7, 2014. The award recipient and finalists are:

Award Recipient
Yale-New Haven Hospital
New Haven, Connecticut
Moving Oncology Care Closer to Home: Pharmacy Leadership Makes a Difference

Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven acquired nine oncology physician practices and integrated them into its cancer network. As part of a provider-based organization, the oncology practices needed to provide the same level of patient care, quality, safety and regulatory compliance as the main health system. Pharmacy leadership–in collaboration with nursing, medical staff and the hospital’s community and government relations personnel--developed an innovative “telepharmacy” model to meet all regulatory requirements and provide safe, high-quality and efficient patient care. The system enabled pharmacists to provide clinical and patient care activities that improved the patient experience. This technology also allowed for flexible pharmacist staffing since the telepharmacy model can be quickly deployed at any location.

The telepharmacy project succeeded because of the comprehensive work of a pharmacy-led interprofessional team. The project showed how technology can enable advanced pharmacist clinical support for safe and effective cancer medication treatments in remote locations. This innovative practice model advances the goal of “Keeping Cancer Care Close to Home” while providing patients with high-quality and exceptional patient care. The pilot’s success led to approval of a change to Connecticut State Drug Law on May 14, 2012, authorizing the telepharmacy model to be used broadly in the state.

Read more about Yale-New Haven Hospital's initiative or watch the video.

Minnesota Hospital Association
St. Paul, MN
Minnesota Road Map to Reducing ADEs

The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) “Road Map to a Medication Safety Program” provides evidence‐based recommendations/standards for Minnesota hospitals in the development of a comprehensive medication safety program. The Road Map is a tool to focus a hospital’s attention and resources on adverse drug events (ADEs). An MHA advisory group, comprised of an interprofessional team led by pharmacists, created the Road Map to reduce ADEs in a specific set of drugs:  anticoagulants, diabetes medications and opioids.

The road map employed a call-to-action framework. The innovative, systematic approach was designed to prevent patient harm by providing both a road map of clinical best practices and an organizational infrastructure to achieve quality measurement goals and embed sustainable best practices.  

The model brought together hospital pharmacists and other healthcare professionals from urban and rural hospitals in a collaborative, transparent safety improvement process. The sites involved included small, large and teaching hospitals. The aim of the group was to set aside competition, learn from one another and work together for sustainable statewide improvement.
In the first two years, the Road Map helped Minnesota hospitals make significant progress in reducing ADEs. Since its inception, an estimated 1,443 fewer events have occurred statewide. This is equivalent to 60 fewer events per month or 2 fewer events per day.

Read more about Minnesota Health Association's initiative or watch the video.

UC San Diego Health System
San Diego, CA
EHR “Best Practice Alerts” Improve Medication Safety in Kidney Patients

Patients with acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease are at risk for frequent adverse medical events due to improper medication dosing. An interprofessional pharmacist-led team comprised of specialists in pharmacy and medical informatics from the health system and the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences sought to design and implement a computerized decision support tool to improve the rate of appropriate medication prescriptions in patients with kidney impairment. The tool was designed to evaluate new medication orders as well as existing medication orders in patients with declining kidney function.  

The UC San Diego team used the “Best Practice Alert” function in their electronic health record software to create the decision support tool. Twenty medications that require dosage adjustment for patients with kidney dysfunction were identified. Physicians at UC San Diego were randomized to receive either standard of care (pharmacist review after order signing) or alerts in addition to standard of care. A total of 4,113 opportunities for potential drug dosage adjustment or discontinuation occurred in 1,649 unique patients. The primary outcome—drug discontinuation or appropriate dosage adjustment—occurred in 17 percent vs. 5.6 percent of opportunities in the intervention and control arm, respectively (OR 2.66 [95%CI 2.00-3.53], p<0.0001). The effect of the intervention was sustained over time.

This UC San Diego project, conceived and led by pharmacists, resulted in the development of a decision support tool that improves drug prescribing. The tool was particularly effective when guiding physicians on new medication orders that require dosage adjustments for renal impairment.  

Read more about UC San Diego Health System's initiative or watch the video.