FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Linda Johnson
WCA Hospital Public Relations
WCA PHARMACISTS EDUCATE COMMUNITY
DURING NATIONAL PHARMACY WEEK
The WCA Hospital Pharmacy team celebrate National Pharmacy Week by encouraging consumers to follow important medication safety tips if admitted to the hospital.
Jamestown, New York (Friday, October 10, 2008)—In conjunction with National Pharmacy Week, October 19 – 25, 2008, WCA pharmacists will use the occasion to underscore the vital role pharmacists play in patient care and educate consumers on medication safety tips if admitted to the hospital.
“Many consumers are not aware that pharmacists play a critical role in preventing medication errors,” said Deborah Caruso, Rph, WCA Hospital Director of Pharmacy. “Staff pharmacists advise prescribers on the best drug choices and we work directly with the hospital’s healthcare team to ensure that patients understand how to use their medications safely and effectively. Pharmacy Week is a great way to educate the public about how pharmacists can help patients get the most benefit from their medicine.”
“During a patient’s hospital stay, we ask that patients follow these important medication safety tips,” states Caruso. “Bring a list of all medications and include all prescription drugs, non-prescription medicine, vitamins, and herbal and nutritional supplements as well as medicines that patients cannot take because of allergies or other reactions. We explain that patients should keep the list handy during their stay to share this important information with their healthcare providers. It is also helpful to include any other allergies patients may have, for example, peanuts, shellfish, or latex.
If patients have questions about their medication, we emphasize, ‘don’t be afraid to ask’. We also encourage patients to ask healthcare providers for any written information available about the medications they take and lastly - we ask that patients enlist a family member or friend to be their advocate while they are in the hospital.”
Pharmacists are experts on the thousands of medications available today, how each one works in the body, and the ways to use each one safely and effectively. Pharmacists who graduate today, receive six years of education focused on medication therapy. They advise physicians and nurses on the best medications and monitor every patient’s medication therapy and provide quality checks to detect and prevent harmful interactions, reactions, or mistakes.
The pharmacy role in hospitals has been especially affected in recent years as hospital-based pharmacists have moved beyond compounding and dispensing medications to become vital members of multidisciplinary patient-care teams.
“Our pharmacy team is very quality-minded and we place a high priority on patient care,” said Deborah. “Our hospital team consists of pharmacists as well as technical and support personnel, who all work together to assure that patients receive the highest quality pharmaceutical care possible.”
WCA Hospital of Jamestown is Southwestern New York’s largest not-for-profit health care provider, offering an extensive range of inpatient and outpatient acute care and rehabilitation services. WCA is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and American College of Radiology; and is approved by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
National Pharmacy Week is sponsored by the American Pharmacists Association. This year’s theme is “Together We Make A Great Team”. To learn more log onto, www.pharmacist.com.