UAB Hospital houses 16 decentral pharmacy satellites that support over 50 patient care units and 900+ patient beds. The pharmacist practicing in a decentral pharmacy satellite is considered a medication expert in specialty areas. Affiliated with medical services, the decentral pharmacists are valuable participants on the healthcare team, impacting and contributing to patient care every day. From Critical Care to Transplant Medicine, learn more about our specialty practice areas.
Role of the Decentral Pharmacist
Decentral practice enables pharmacists to be involved at the point of patient care and interact one on one with physicians, nurses, other healthcare professionals, families and patients. Through clinical activities, the decentral pharmacists assure safe and effective use of medications. These activities include order verification to ensure optimization of therapy, physician rounds, therapeutic drug monitoring, and patient education.
Environment of Teamwork
For over 30 years, UAB's pharmacy practice has operated both decentrally and centrally. As this integrated model has evolved, decentral pharmacists have worked collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary health care team to provide care for patients at UAB Hospital. This environment facilitates teamwork and encompasses all aspects of the patient.
The Central Pharmacy is the site for medication distribution throughout UAB Hospital. Central Pharmacy is USP 797 compliant and much of the space is classed as ISO Class 5 clean room. Pharmacists in this area are responsible for the preparation of sterile and non-sterile medications for patients at UAB Hospital.
The Role of the Central Pharmacist
Pharmacists in Central Pharmacy work closely with their Decentral colleagues to ensure that patients receive the correct medication and dose at the right time. With the vast majority of doses being dispensed from Central Pharmacy, attention to detail, the ability to prioritize and to work as a team member are essential skills for pharmacists in this area.
Focused on Compounding and Distribution
Pharmacy practice in Central is focused on the compounding and distribution aspects of practice. Those practicing in this area must have a working knowledge of:
- Compounding of sterile products - USP 797
- Preparing and handling of hazardous drugs
- Compounding of non-sterile doses forms
- Managing Automated Medication Management System (AMMS)
Understanding the Distribution Process for Medications
Pharmacists in this area must understand the distribution process for medication within the hospital to effectively triage incoming orders and to ensure that medication is delivered in a safe and timely fashion to the patient.
Investigational Drug Service
The Investigational Drug Service supports the research efforts of UAB Hospital via providing proper storage and distribution of investigational drugs prescribed for inpatients at UAB Hospital. This Service provides assistance with outpatient protocols involving selected UAB Medicine clinics. The Investigational Drug pharmacist can assist the investigator(s) in planning and executing clinical trials using investigational drugs. This includes assisting in the randomization and blinding process and ensuring proper subject enrollment.
The Kirklin Clinic Pharmacy of UAB Hospital
Located in The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital, this retail pharmacy utilizes the latest technology in dispensing systems. The Kirklin Clinic Pharmacy of UAB Hospital is available to fill prescriptions for all UAB patients and employees. The pharmacy staff also provides investigational drug services, compounding, and immunizations.
Medical Center Pharmacy
Located in the Community Care Building, this pharmacy serves the HIV and Psychiatric clinics. In addition to pharmaceutical patient care services, the pharmacists support a wide range of HIV research and grant programs at this nationally recognized center. Longitudinal rotations for Pharmacy Residents are provided.
Family Practice Pharmacy
Located in the Community Health Services Building, the Family Practice Pharmacy provides services for a number of on-site clinics, including the Family Practice clinic. This pharmacy is recognized for the close relationships formed between medical staff, pharmacist and patient to provide excellent continuity of care.
UAB Hospital Outpatient Infusion Therapy
UAB Hospital Infusion Therapy provides various infusion treatments, including chemotherapy, injections, hydration, electrolyte replacement, and antibiotics in clinic settings. This setting allows pharmacists, highly trained in oncology and infusion therapy, to collaborate with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers to provide high quality, safe care to our patients. UAB Medicine has five separate infusion clinics, four of which primarily focus on providing therapy for various types of cancers, and one interdisciplinary clinic that treats a multitude of non-malignant conditions. Pharmacy resident training opportunities are offered in these clinics for Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) and Postgraduate Year Two (PGY2) Oncology residents.
UAB Specialty Pharmacy
Outpatient Transplant Services
Outpatient Transplant Services include a mail order pharmacy that provides outpatient pharmacy dispensing services for immunosuppressant maintenance medications for UAB transplant patients. These services also include pharmacists' involvement in clinic based care as integral team members for the Health System's large transplant population. Pharmacy residents completing their PGY1 training will participate in a longitudinal transplant rotation. This pharmacy also provides training for the PGY2 Solid Organ Transplant pharmacy resident, focusing on transition of care planning with our transplant team and caring for patients in the outpatient setting. Supported transplant clinics include renal, heart, lung and liver.
Home Infusion Therapy
UAB Home Infusion Therapy provides a unique opportunity to work closely with patients, nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals. We are a specialized pharmacy providing home-based quality clinical care to patients with infectious diseases, cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, chronic or terminal pain, immune deficiencies and cardiovascular disease. Our healthcare team consists of infusion pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, social workers and billing personnel.
- The Care Team:
- Performs patient, family and home environmental assessments
- Evaluates equipment needs
- Provides patient and family education
- Provides medications and supplies for infusion
- Develops patient-specific plans for care
- Provides follow-up communication with physicians
- Monitors drug interactions, compliance and response to therapy
UAB Hospital-Highlands Apothecary
Located in the UAB Hospital-Highlands, the Highlands Apothecary provides services for numerous on-site clinics and hospital discharges. The Apothecary is available to fill prescriptions for all UAB Medicine patients and employees. This pharmacy is recognized for the close relationships formed between medical staff, pharmacist and patient to provide excellent continuity of care.
Drug Information Service/Therapeutic Policy Management
The Drug Information Service provides medication and related information to members of the medical staff, pharmacy staff and other health professionals. The Drug Information Service also staffs the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee providing information on all aspects of the medication use process including:
- Evaluation of medication utilization
- Preparation of drug evaluations
- Evaluation of drug policies and procedures
- Development of guidelines for appropriate medication use
In addition, the Drug Information Service:
- Evaluates and maintains the hospital Formulary
- Writes and publishes the Drug Information Bulletin
- Coordinates medication error and adverse drug reaction programs
- Communicates information regarding medication shortages
Drug Information Opportunities for Students and Residents
The Drug Information Service responds to direct inquiries from health care professionals within the UAB Health-System. The service provides educational opportunities for Doctor of Pharmacy clerkship students and residents in the ASHP-accredited pharmacy residency programs.
Equipped with Resources
The Drug Information Service is located in the Drug Resource Center which is equipped with a variety of tertiary resources, on-line search capabilities, and a core collection of internal medicine and pharmacy journals. Additional resources are available from the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences located on the UAB campus.
Pharmacy Education and Development
Pharmacists and technicians serve the entire department with both initial and continual training and support involving a variety of topics.
- Initial orientation and training
- Annual competency training
- Joint Commission Preparedness
- Coordination of pharmacy student and pharmacy resident training
- Continuing Education presentations (professional advancement programs)
- Aseptic Technique training (sterile product compounding)
- BLS and Code-10 response
- Hazardous drug training
- Patient education
- Therapeutic topic training including pharmacokinetics and anti-coagulation
- CPOE training (4-day class)
Pharmacy Informatics plays a critical role in departmental support. These pharmacists are integral in the build, testing, education and support of our Computerized Physician Order Entry System (CPOE) as well as our Automated Medication Management System (AMMS). Other responsibilities include assistance with formulary management, and helping to ensure that safety features are incorporated into our information management systems.
Upcoming technological advances involving pharmacy Informatics are bedside bar-coding, electronic progress notes as part of the electronic medical record, smart pump technology including library build and maintenance and an automated storage carousel for Central Pharmacy. UAB is currently developing a plan to implement this new pharmacy informatics technology into the hospital.
Pharmacy technicians are essential team members in every setting and assist the pharmacists in providing patient care. In each area, technicians work collaboratively with pharmacists and support them in their daily activities. Every technician can participate in medication error prevention by reporting prevented and actual medication related errors.
Responsibilities of the Pharmacy Technician:
Working with the pharmacists, Central technicians make IV fluids, prepare IV syringes and oral liquids, pull medications for pending orders, fill the AMMS (Pyxis) machines for patient's needs, and package medications for unit doses.
Decentrally, technicians assist the pharmacists in day-to-day activities which include ensuring adequate IV fluids for patient requirements, maintaining inventory levels in satellites, recording receipt of Central pharmacy deliveries, and obtaining and delivering medications to nursing units.
Technicians working in our ambulatory areas assist the pharmacists with medication compounding and dispensing, aid with inventory management, and help to provide excellent customer service.
UAB Medicine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity, and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans. UAB Medicine is active participant in E-Verify for the I-9 process.