Moments in Pharmacy – Jamie Moline

The theme for this year’s ASHP Mid-Year Conference is “Some Mid-Year Magic.” To celebrate the contributions and magic that our talented pharmacists and technicians bring to their patients, we created a new series called Moments in Pharmacy. Today, we feature Jamie Moline, PharmD and Director of Pharmacy at Holy Family Memorial in Manitowoc WI.

Name one thing that’s changed the most about pharmacy operations since you began your career? 

I graduated pharmacy school in 2013, so I feel like I stepped into a profession that already faced truly pivotal changes, that make the last few years seem small in comparison. I started practice with electronic medical records, smart infusion pumps, automated dispensing machines, and more, already in common use.

In the last 5 years, I think biosimilars represent a significant change and new aspect of pharmacy. Biosimilars didn’t even exist all that many years ago, and we’re on the verge of an explosion of new products in coming years, that healthcare as a whole is still determining how best to manage.

What does being a pharmacist (or position) mean to you?moments in pharmacy

As a pharmacist (and pharmacy director), I am a problem-solver, a safety net, an educator, and a teammate. It’s not a solo job, but the sum of everything we do with the rest of the healthcare team.

As the director, I am the connection point between pharmacy and other hospital services. My role entails not just oversight of pharmacy operations but working with other hospital leaders on the partnerships and teamwork between pharmacy and other departments. We can’t do our best work unless we’re working well with the rest of the patient care team.

What are the biggest challenges you see in the coming 2-5 years?

The future of healthcare reform. I don’t think anyone disagrees that the system is broken, but the solution to fixing it is debatable, and could represent any number of revolutionary changes in all of health care practice.

Please share the best advice you received about working in pharmacy?

“At the end of the day, just take care of the patient.” For all the policies and protocols and guidelines in the world, there are always exceptions to the rules. And reasons to bend them, or change them. But if the focus is always on how to best take care of the patient, the right decision is usually an easy one.

Name one or two of the most exciting developments you see taking place in pharmacy operations or pharmaceuticals right now.

I’m always a big fan of technology and automation advancements. It can’t replace clinical assessment and judgement, but it sure makes so many other things more accurate and efficient.

I also think the advances in personalized medicine are fascinating and represent incredible opportunities for the future of medicine. Genetically modifying a patient’s own immune cells to fight their cancer? It seems like it belongs in a sci-fi novel, but we’re actually doing that!

What are one or two of the most meaningful moments you’ve experienced in this field? 

Many of my most memorable and meaningful moments are little ones, and maybe only tangentially connected to pharmacy practice. A recent favorite is the STAT Banana.

To make a long story short, I served as an extra pair of hands for an unusual situation with a hypoglycemic patient. Yes, I took an order for a STAT banana, retrieved and delivered it to the patient.

When I handed off the banana, the charge nurse looks at me sideways to ask, “Do I have to barcode scan this?” and the physician comments, “I didn’t even know that was on the formulary!” It was a really fun and funny moment that helped put the patient at ease after what could have been a much more serious experience.

If you could wave a magic wand and make any one change to all pharmacy operations in the U.S., what would it be?

I would create interoperability and access to patient medical records for community pharmacies. It’s a huge missed opportunity that our outpatient pharmacists generally have zero access to patient medical history or records. I think we barely scrape the surface of what could be done in the outpatient pharmacies because of that lack of information.

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