I am excited to join Wolters Kluwer's team of clinical experts as the resident compliance expert! My career spans 17 years in health systems pharmacy clinical services and general operations, focused in the areas of oncology and infusion services. Most recently, I provided USP consulting services, education and advocacy for quality and regulatory compliance services within the division of Pharmacy Advisory Services at Premier, Inc. I have spent most of my career developing and implementing policies, procedures and education, and ensuring facilities meet USP compliance standards in acute and ambulatory care areas, as well as retail pharmacies and clinics.
I received my PharmD from Washington State University and completed a PGY1 residency in pharmacy practice at MultiCare Health System, and I am Board Certified in Sterile Compounding Pharmacy.
Throughout my career, I’ve partnered with leaders and colleagues to share best practices and provide education in the areas of hazardous drugs and sterile compounding. I am passionate about medication safety for both employees and patients. To that end, I've involved myself in local legislation on hazardous drugs, as well as presented and participated in NIOSH hazardous drug review and advocacy events in Washington, D.C. Washington State was among the nation’s first states to enact legislation protecting workers from hazardous drugs—through the Washington State Pharmacy Association, I collaborated with a variety of stakeholders to inform the law-making process and provide shared learning with the Department of Labor & Industries. Throughout the evolution of state and federal regulations for hazardous drugs and sterile compounding over the last decade, I presented to various health care professions with a focus on interpreting the standards and providing practical applications for compliance.
My professional experiences have given me a pinpoint focus as we face a difficult period in compounding pharmacy. During these unprecedented times, many organizations are simply trying to comply as best they can with what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and guidance they have. In the face of both USP regulation in flux, as well as the challenges presented by COVID, what is our guiding star for compounding best practices? I suggest that we return our focus not on the ‘what and how’ of compliance, but on the ‘why.’ From my point of view, by putting the focus on patient and employee safety, the answers to difficult decisions will become more evident, ultimately leading to quality care. Yet this focus needs to be informed by expert guidance in order to operationalize the safety practices within your organization. Do you have the tools you need to acquire, learn and implement the most current guidance? This is where I am looking forward to offering and expanding my expertise.
Coming from a clinical background, I am all too aware of the consequences of non-compliance. I maintain a firm belief that ‘if you didn’t document it, it didn’t happen,’ and I’ve seen how a lax compliance culture allows issues to increasingly fall through the cracks. Floors didn’t get mopped, or a competency was late; leaders didn’t review the documentation, and eventually, staff don’t speak up when there is a real problem. During this time, when many usual practices may be changing due to shortages of medications, PPE or staffing, it is even more important to document those variations, as well as to educate staff on interim procedures so they can be informed and keep their focus on the ‘why,’ too.
Based on my experiences, I'm aware that compliance programs are only as good as their parts—a comprehensive, closed-loop solution like Simplifi 797 ensures nothing falls through the cracks. A quality assurance plan custom-developed with input from industry experts includes policies and procedures that inform your staff education, which drive the competencies your facility enforces. The data collected compiles your compliance documentation, which is easily accessible in the industry-leading analytics. All this evidence-based content goes above and beyond USP regulations to provide patient-safety peace of mind in a way that cobbling together parts and parcels from various companies just can’t offer. And with regular product updates and automated task management, your staff will never have to worry that a Standard Operating Procedure is out of alignment with the CriticalPoint training related to it, or the competency they’ll be judged on. In this period of change and uncertainty, you need a system you can trust to keep you on track to the ‘what’ and ‘how’—I’m excited to join Wolters Kluwer so I can help you focus on the clear and unwavering ‘why’ of patient safety, employee safety and ultimate quality care.