This time of year tends to bring out the spring cleaner in all of us. As we prepare for new beginnings and delve into implementing new programs, systems, or technologies, it can be easy to think, “out with the old, in with the new.” While in general, it is always beneficial to look ahead, forecast, and prepare for what’s to come, it can be equally important to look back and take a personal inventory of the professional legacy you are leaving behind.
Many of the articles and editorial features found in PP&P emphasize staying apace of the latest developments in institutional pharmacy, from government regulations to technological advancements. Determining when and in what capacity such developments will impact the practice of pharmacy is a key part of any director’s role in management. However, perhaps the greater—and certainly the most lasting—role through which a director can make a positive impact is that of mentor, teacher, and innovator.
Most of a pharmacy director’s time is taken up by the physical management of the pharmacy—making sure the operation is running as smoothly, safely, and efficiently as possible. But despite the number of automation systems now legion in most modern pharmacies, every well-run pharmacy begins and ends with the motivation, education, and encouragement of its staff. Learning to manage people is an acquired taste, but keeping the focus on imparting lessons and recognizing the actions that led to success not only motivates your staff to learn valuable problem-solving skills, it prepares them to make a better and easier transition to management themselves. Buying a new machine or changing a problematic process can have immediate and satisfying results, but take a minute to step back and look at the big picture. Imparting your experience to the next generation of leaders will invariably benefit the practice and effects of pharmacology. Encourage your staff to take leadership roles and do your best to enable those actions. Whether you are a tenured pharmacy director, or beginning your first year in the position, your actions will have a long-standing and beneficial affect on health care for years to come.
All the best,
R. Mitchell Halvorsen
P.S. And the winner is Deb Sadowski, RPh, director of pharmacy at the Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, New Jersey. As the randomly selected winner from our recent Going Green survey of health-system pharmacy directors, Deb received an Apple iPod Touch and Philips Fidelio DS 7550 portable speaker dock! Congratulations Deb!
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