Spotlight on the Pharmacy Team
The pharmacy team at Shriners Children’s Boston is often behind the scenes making essential contributions to the delivery of patient care, so patients and families may not realize all the ways that clinical pharmacists work with their care team to provide the best outcomes. From medication procurement and dispensing to monitoring therapies and providing clinical education, our skilled and knowledgeable clinical pharmacists at Shriners Children’s Boston oversee all pharmaceutical care in the hospital, and their day-to-day responsibilities are vast and varied.
Derek A. Hursey, Pharm.D., BCPPS, RPh, has served as the director of pharmacy at Shriners Children’s Boston since 2021, but began his professional career at the hospital in 2008. While he left for a couple of years to explore a pharmacy director role at another hospital, Derek returned when he missed the unique family-centered environment and mission-driven care he experienced at Shriners Children’s Boston.
“In the pharmacy, we are dedicated to fulfilling the Shriners Children’s mission by serving our patients and families,” Derek said. “We also strive to support our fellow staff members – our department’s vision is to be the single source provider of all medication-related information and education for the entire hospital so staff members can more effectively do their jobs.”
The pharmacy team at Shriners Children’s Boston is comprised of four clinical pharmacists including Ekta Patel, Pharm.D., RPh; Noor Uzri, Pharm.D., BCPPPS, RPh; Sami Kobeissi, RPh; and Derek, the pharmacy director; as well as a number of pharmacy interns and co-op students. Two of our pharmacists are board certified in pediatric pharmacotherapy by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties, credentials that less than 15% of licensed pharmacists in the country possess. Further, three of our pharmacists are adjunct clinical assistant professors at local schools of pharmacy assisting in the training and educating of future pharmacists.
Every morning, the pharmacy team actively participates in multidisciplinary clinical rounds to assist managing the medication needs of patients and to address medication-related questions and issues from the staff. Working alongside medical and nursing staff members, our pharmacists ensure patients are getting the right drugs at safe and effective dosages, and that they are monitored and safely administered. Our pharmacy interns work alongside our clinical pharmacists, helping to make care seamless by ensuring both sterile and non-sterile medications are compounded appropriately and available in a timely fashion. The pharmacy team actively monitors every location where a medication is obtained, including medication rooms, operating rooms and emergency carts. Each location is monitored for safe and proper storage and to ensure appropriate access.
The pharmacy department plays a key role in medication education and medication-related policy development for our clinical staff. Our pharmacists are also involved in new and innovative research. Currently, the team is assisting with a retrospective chart review to understand the benefits and risks of a therapy that reduces bleeding in the operating room.
As part of their responsibilities, the pharmacy team abides by hundreds of regulatory policies, processes and procedures to ensure outstanding patient care and medication safety. “The pharmacy can be a high-stress and demanding environment,” Derek said. “The attention to detail, organization, prioritization, adaptability and excellent communication and teamwork skills are paramount to our success. I’m proud of our team and our accomplishments as a team to advance the care that patients at Shriners Children's receive.”
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