Additionally, UK is respected as one of the places where the concept of clinical pharmacy services took root. Integration, investment and support for clinical pharmacy has developed throughout UK HealthCare over decades. This is evidenced by UK HealthCare’s establishment of a clinic for post-acute coronary syndrome that is completely run by pharmacists.
“Internal data shows that if we see a patient within the first seven days of their discharge – if we re-educate them, make sure they’re not having any issues or symptoms, do some physical assessment – we can help reduce readmissions within the first 30 or 90 days,” Beavers said. “We're able to maximize and optimize the care of the patient. That's an advanced, innovative practice that doesn't exist in a lot of places.”
In addition, a highly active student group is committed to community outreach around clinical pharmacy services. UK pharmacy students have founded their own committee of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (AphA-ASP) Operation Heart initiative. The students put on free local and regional events to screen patients for warning signs of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high cholesterol and teaching CPR. The UK students are multi-year winners of the AphA-ASP regional Operation Heart award.
UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute even incorporates clinical pharmacy in its strategic organizational planning, which has influenced operations, such as research and quality initiatives.
“If you have a culture that recognizes the value and is willing to invest, it clearly pays dividends in the long run for the hospital, health system and their patients,” Beavers said. “There is an understanding here that it takes a team to optimize outcomes.”