UAB Pharmacy Department Does Much More than Fill Prescriptions
October is American Pharmacists Month, making it a perfect time to acknowledge the excellent work and dedication of our UAB Medicine pharmacists. This annual observation celebrates the accomplishments of pharmacists around the country by recognizing their contributions to health care and the many services they provide for their communities.
Like others across the nation, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the UAB Department of Pharmacy demonstrate expertise in many areas, including over-the-counter and supplement suggestions; seasonal and lifespan immunizations; pain management; medication reviews to assess safety, effectiveness, interactions, and adherence; and care management and counseling for various diseases.
It’s easy to picture pharmacists’ work strictly as filling prescriptions. They certainly do plenty of that, but there is a wide array of services and skills involved in the care provided by the Department of Pharmacy staff. The following highlights offer some idea as to the scope of the department’s education, research, and delivery of care.
Annual drug spending: $268 million
The department, which is integrated into the UAB Medicine health care team, has 225 pharmacists and 177 technicians (54% are certified) working in various locations and capacities, including:
8 licensed pharmacies
4 retail pharmacies
Mail order pharmacy
Home Infusion Therapy
Inpatient/acute care (at UAB Hospital and UAB Hospital-Highlands)
Medication services for off-campus clinics
Gardendale Freestanding Emergency Department
Investigational drug services
UAB Medicine has five infusion clinics, four of which primarily focus on providing therapy for various types of cancer, and one interdisciplinary clinic that treats a multitude of non-malignant conditions.
The UAB Central Pharmacy dispenses over 1.2 million unit doses per month and prepares 25,000 sterile compounds per month for patients receiving care at UAB Hospital.
UAB Home Infusion Therapy is a specialized pharmacy providing quality, home-based clinical care to patients with infectious diseases, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, immune deficiencies, and cardiovascular disease.
UAB makes no distinction between clinical and non-clinical pharmacists. Working as a team with pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, and other health care professionals, all pharmacists perform direct or indirect clinical roles to provide high-quality patient care.
2020 will mark the fifth anniversary of Meds to Beds, a service that offers free delivery of medications to inpatients and consultations with a pharmacist if needed, as part of the discharge process. Meds to Beds was designed to improve patients' transition from hospital to home.
Next year will mark 50 years of residency training for the department, which also holds the distinction of having one of the country’s first residency programs.
The five pharmacy residency training programs offered at UAB are: