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Zero Tolerance for Failure: Pharmacists Fight Back!
Outcomes Poster Session at the 44th ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition

"An important clinical responsibility of the pharmacist is to ensure the rational use of antimicrobial agents through the health system."
ASHP Statement on the Pharmacist's Role

The 2009 Initiative "Zero Tolerance for Failure: Pharmacists Fight Back" was concluded with a dedicated poster session held at the 44th ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 7. We thank all who were able to attend and discuss the culmination of outcomes study results gathered throughout the year. We hope you had the opportunity to speak with some of the distinguished faculty involved in this program as well as members from Vemco MedEd, Center for Independent Healthcare Education, SIDP, and the State Societies of Health-Systems Pharmacists.

What is Zero Tolerance for Failure: Pharmacists Fight Back!

The year-long educational activity was designed and implemented with the collaboration of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) and 8 State Societies of Health-System Pharmacists (SHPs: Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, South Carolina, and Texas). The initiative provided a clinically focused overview of the issues related to serious bacterial infections in the hospital. It addressed the challenges clinical pharmacists face when treating HAIs and included discussion on topics related to bacterial resistance, appropriate antimicrobial selection and dosing, and the pharmacist’s role in patient management. An interactive clinical skills workshop demonstrated how the information gained can be utilized at bedside.

An Innovative Outcomes Study
This activity was designed to empower clinical pharmacists with practical knowledge so that they can apply what is learned to successfully manage HAIs. To assess the impact on practice performance, the intent to change was reinforced and its implementation evaluated through an innovative Outcomes Study. This Outcomes Study was performed in collaboration with the State SHPs and SIDP. The study involved a series of steps to generate data:

  • Completion of a Pre-Activity survey
  • Attendance at the live workshop, Zero Tolerance for Failure: Pharmacists Fight Back!
  • Review of 4 weekly Clinical Pearls e-mails
  • Completion of a Post-Activity survey
Changes in decision-making, guidelines adherence, strategies implementation, and multidisciplinary team approach were analyzed.

Overall Study Observations
After evaluating the results from the Post-Activity survey, the following conclusions were made:

  1. This Initiative increased the overall awareness of the challenges associated with managing HAIs.
  2. Participants recognized the importance of utilizing a multidisciplinary approach in patient management.
    However, better communication is still needed amongst the Pharmacist, ID Physician and the Clinical Microbiologist.
  3. Participants gained an understanding and knowledge on optimizing the use of antimicrobial agents through proper selection, dosing, and duration of therapy.
    However, participants continue to request additional information in order to improve competence and confidence when selecting antimicrobial regimens.
  4. Participants recognized a lack of understanding and utilization of hospital antibiograms in guiding the appropriate empiric treatment.
  5. Participants noted that the format of a virtual case workshop with discussion significantly helped to illustrate how to apply the knowledge in clinical practice and follow antimicrobial stewardship principles.

What is Still Needed

This initiative was only the first step in building collaboration between SIDP and the State SHPs to focus educational efforts on the topic of HAIs for clinical pharmacists. Given the ever-changing hospital environment that emphasizes greater transparency and accountability; clinical pharmacists will play a significant role in the management of patients at risk of HAIs. Therefore, effective continuing education programs will play a major part in ensuring clinical pharmacists remain familiar with the latest research findings and evidence-based guidelines.

Thank You and Send Us Your Feedback

Vemco MedEd and Center for Independent Healthcare Education wish to thank all who participated in this Outcomes Study. Without your feedback, we would not be able to get the information needed to gauge how successful this program was and how to adapt future educational programs on this topic.

We also welcome any additional comments. Please submit any comments or questions regarding the scientific program or outcomes study to: pharmacistsfighthais@vemcomeded.com. We would be delighted to hear from you and to receive any suggestions for future educational programs.

"Worthwhile program to promote national goals and bring them to practitioners"
Participant, Texas SHP


Zero Tolerance

 Photos from the Outcomes Poster Session


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