A Harbor in the Tempest

May 2020 - Vol.17 No. 5 - Page #1

The outbreak of COVID-19 into a global pandemic has certainly changed our lives in innumerable ways. While the general public, and even many workers deemed “essential,” bear an understandable amount of stress and concern regarding this disease, the pressure being applied to the medical community is staggering. While every other person on the planet is being told to stay home and isolate to the best of their abilities, the bulk of clinicians are being asked to run toward the danger. This concept is not new, of course, as medical professionals are often called upon to face both expected and unexpected dangers, but there is no modern analog in scope and impact with which to compare.

In times of crisis, it is sometimes best to focus your attention on what is immediately before you. As a pharmacy director, you are undoubtedly facing problems acquiring (and conserving) PPE and continuing to provide necessary medications in a manner that is safe for both staff and patients. In an effort to address these issues, we have comprised several short strategies, including the following (visit pppmag.com/covid19 for more information):

  • Identifying At-Risk Compounding Staff
  • Garb and PPE for Compounding During a Pandemic
  • Iowa Board of Pharmacy Guidance for Managing PPE Shortages

Furthermore, in this month’s cover story, we offer up a unique solution in hospital pharmacy, applying the abundant knowledge of pharmacy practitioners to adapt to changing needs. The in-depth story by pharmacists Kevin Hansen and Christopher Boiallis details Cone Health’s efforts to compound and distribute over 1000 liters of hand sanitizer. Included are several valuable resources to support similar initiatives in other hospitals.

We continue to be in awe of the efforts being made by friends, colleagues, and relative strangers in front-line medical care. Your dedication to continue fighting and remaining a fortified harbor in a history-making tempest is truly remarkable. There are miles to go before we sleep, and we will stay with you every step of the way.

Wishing you health and safety,

R. Mitchell Halvorsen

  • Rory Phillips, BSPh, MBA, RPh, director of pharmacies and respiratory therapy at Southern Ohio Medical Center.


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