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Children's Medical Center reduces mistakes with in-house pharmacists

June 18, 2014 - Jenny Doren | WFAA

DALLAS – In the emergency department at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, it’s not just doctors saving lives. Pharmacists are too. 

The hospital has the largest number of ER pharmacists in the country who are on-call 24 hours a day. There are 10 of them, including Dr. Brenda Darling. 

"We are not the stereotypical lick, stick count and pour pharmacists,” said the clinical pharmacy manager. "We are very much involved upfront in their care from the very beginning."

Everything she and her team needs is dispensed directly into the critical care rooms.

“This is literally our pharmacy in a box,” pointed out Darling.

The vending machine-like setup helps the hospital cut down on medication mistakes and dangerous drug interactions which contribute to more than 7,000 deaths in America each year.

On top of that, more than 50 percent of people say they never or rarely read the drug information given to them.

“Pharmacists will come up to me after I write a prescription and suggest either an alternative medication or a different dose based on the patient's weight or the patient's condition,” explained chief quality officer and pediatric ER physician, Dr. Rustin Morse.

It’s a special partnership helping our youngest patients feel better faster than ever. 

“Healthcare really is a team sport,” said Dr. Morse. 

He’s proud to know that other medical centers are getting in on the game for safety’s sake. 

“We have had a lot of contact from other institutions all over the U.S. and some internationally that want to know how to set up a program in the emergency room,” said Darling.


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