6. Hospital pharmacy series - professionalism
PROFESSIONALISM IN PHARMACY
Structured specially by Bhagavan P S, former Deputy Director (Pharmacy), Ministry of Health & F W, Govt of Karnataka.
A person having specialized knowledge and skill is called a professional. A clinician, Nurse, physiotherapist, technicians in radiology, laboratory, advocate, painter, carpenter, cobbler, Taylor, Electrician, mechanic are all called professionals. They are indispensable in their job.
Likewise the pharmacist is also a professional. But unfortunately the pharmacist has betrayed the people at both ends and has deliberately and knowingly allowed all and sundry to do his job. Hence, he is losing his professional status.
But whether a person in the garb of the pharmacist likes or dislikes, there is no second opinion that professional service is required in the drugs management and dispensing In the interest of the patient. Drugs are very sensitive molecules and the formulations are much more sensitive to the environment. They need to be handled, cared, distributed / dispensed with utmost care with due documentation and counseling so that they retain their consistency and potency till they are consumed. The professional care-chain that starts at the manufacturing level should continue up to the patient’s bed.
No choice is left to the person in the garb of a pharmacist to ignore his professional obligation. Any person who doesn’t wish to serve as a ;Professional pharmacist’ but wants to enjoy the benefits of a ‘Pharmacist’ should quit and opt out to other jobs. Though it looks harsh, it is good for the profession and to others who have opted to serve as professional pharmacist.
Professionalism is nothing but value addition to the job done.
Picking a strip of tablet from the shelf and handing over to the client is any body’s job. But ensuring correct storage, understanding the prescription, checking the strength and dose and handing over to the client with due instructions on storage, handling and dosage regimen and what side effect to expect and what to do in case of such an event etc is a value addition to the job that can be done only by the professional. Thus Professional service can be rendered only by a ‘Professional’. Professionalism is one that ‘provides all round material and service support to the client.
The premises, the surroundings, the look, appearance, the ambience of the pharmacy and the look, appearance, dress, attitude, behaviour, approach and approachability, way of communication and way of closing transaction – all have to be trimmed and well attended to give professional impression to the clients.
That means not only the service but the look and appearance too are essential to induce confidence on the clients on the availability of the professional service.
How to give professional outlook to the hospital pharmacy?
Professionalism can be introduced in two simple steps as under:
Evaluate how much professional is your pharmacy:
(Use terms like bad / satisfactory / good / best to record your observation)
Particulars Your observation Remarks
I Look and appearance
b. Look and appearance
c. Location sign
d. lighting, ventilation cleanliness and ambience and approachability
e. Evaluation criteria
a. Prequalification of vendors
b. Stock definition
c. Priority list
e. Bid evaluation
g. Inward documentation
h. Payment facilitation
i. Stock management
j. Orderly arrangement with no black-holes.
k. Reasonable stock load Proportionate to the consumption
l. Quality checks and controls
m. Isolation of Expired / prohibited stocks
n. Product retrieval method
o. Evaluation criteria
III Personal management
a. Personal hygiene and dress code of Pharmacist and other workers
c. Identity of pharmacist
d. Evaluation criteria
a. Prescription handling
e. Evaluation criteria
a. Source identification
b. Stock location
c. Stock count
d. Stock evaluation
e. Stock audit
f. Balance sheet
g. Evaluation criteria
VI Waste disposal
a. SOP for scientific disposal of pharmacy waste
b. Facility for scientific disposal of pharmacy waste
c. Evaluation criteria
a. Prepare a classified list of the above particulars, carry out further gap analysis to identify the weak areas and risk areas in each category and write down the solution to make good the deficiency.
b. Prepare a draft SOP as per your observation and solution, discuss with colleagues with open mind to accept any rational suggestion.
c. Work out on your own the suggested system to understand practicability, usefulness and to see whether it improves the system with due accountability
d. Introduce the new SOP bit cautiously without disturbing the existing supply chain with respect to time line, quantity and expenditure and push the proposal to the administration if it involves administrative or financial sanctions.
e. Be open to any modification if warranted during the operational phase of the SOP.