How a hospital pharmacy copes with a pandemic | Hartford Hospital
April 22, 2020
In the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and departments at Hartford HealthCare have stepped up in a big way to get the system through such a difficult time. The work did not go unnoticed. Pharmacy, one of the often hidden departments, helps pave the way.
“It’s like a duck in a pond right now from a medication perspective,” says David Girouard, director of pharmacy at the Central Connecticut Hospital and MidState Medical Center. “Nobody really talks about it, but we are paddling very hard under the surface.” Pharmacies began increasing their peak supply in early March. This meant ordering drugs that would be essential for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Sedatives were needed for those intubated and connected to ventilators. The same goes for drugs that help control blood pressure and antibiotics, which some doctors use as a form of treatment. “From pharmacists to managers to the entire pharmacy system, I mean without us you don’t have medicine,” said Tammy Wierzbicki, pharmacy buyer at Central Connecticut Hospital in New York. Brittany. have been the most harrowing as critical drugs are either out of stock or assigned to hospitals. This means staff are working late into the night to ensure they have the necessary medications so medical staff can treat patients accordingly. skills that we have honed over the past few years to deal with shortages,” Girouard said. It is a comprehensive approach. According to Girouard, pharmacists are streamlining drug dosing to help reduce the number of times a nurse has to access a patient. Technicians prepare supplies for crash carts and intravenous medications. Buyers stay in close contact with drug distributors so they can continue to build up inventory. “I think there will be challenges,” Wierzbicki said, “but hopefully as a system we can all come together, help each other and hopefully get through this.”
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