DAYTON – The American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) recently announced that the Kettering Health Pharmacy Department received the ASHP National Best Practices Award for an innovative process for COVID-19 treatment.
Through a cross-system collaboration, the team developed a centralized method to manage COVID-19 outpatient treatment and medicine inventory, ensuring equal treatment with oral medication and monoclonal antibodies for Kettering Health patients.
In January, when oral COVID-19 treatments became available, it became important that both monoclonal antibodies and oral treatments be available to Kettering Health patients. Employees from Kettering Health Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Administration; Kettering Health COVID-19 Infusion Center, Retail, and Collaborative Pharmacies; as well as pharmacy software experts and physician leaders pitched and implemented the award-winning process in six business days. COVID-19 patients would be referred to the Kettering Health Pharmacy team, who would decide the most appropriate treatment based on symptom onset, drug interactions, and National Institutes of Health guidance. Patients would then be set up for infusion treatments or have an oral medicine prescription sent to a Kettering Health or local pharmacy. To date, nearly 15,000 patients have been served through this process.
Teamwork between pharmacy services and physician services led to a swift implementation of the innovative process and its resulting success. Kettering Health Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services Julia Landis said in a press release, “We prioritized a vulnerable population to ensure we could quickly and efficiently provide service. We were a leader in the region in monoclonal antibody treatments provided to patients due to our novel approach to COVID treatment management. This model also allowed us to quickly pivot several times as the pandemic evolved. Our most recent change was updating our IV treatment option to the antiviral remdesivir due to variant resistance to the monoclonal antibodies.”
The new process also simplified ordering for providers and leveraged pharmacist expertise to identify and procure the most safe and effective COVID-19 treatment.
The ASHP Best Practices Award criteria includes originality and innovative nature of the program, significance of the program to the health system, demonstration of improvements, and significance of the program to pharmacy practice advancement. The Kettering Health team was honored at a poster session at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting on Monday, Dec. 5, along with four other winners of the national award.