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Commentary

COVID-19 Response From Pharmacists: A National Database is Needed


October 27, 2020

I recently discussed the role of pharmacists as an immunizer during the COVID-19 pandemic. I discussed how this role would demonstrate our value on the general public. This now is especially important since the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health authorized pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests. Pharmacies enrolled in Medicare can also register as a temporary independent clinical diagnostic laboratory.1

I have reviewed a few articles in the pharmacy literature discussing the roles of the pharmacist during the COVID-19 response, however, there is one major topic that has not been discussed, a national database of pharmacist’s intervention. As pharmacists, we have made our daily interventions in patient care for decades. We write about our interventions within the pharmacy literature and we continue to tell the community our value. However, I believe the only way we can demonstrate this on a larger scale is a national database of pharmacist’s interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I believe if our pharmacy organizations worked as one and invested into creating a national database repository for all interventions, including number of vaccinations, number of COVID-19 tests, and more, this would have an important impact on the designation and identification of having pharmacists be recognized as a healthcare provider. It is only with data of this magnitude that can have significant change.

I would hope that our pharmacy leaders would consider investing in a national database to help elevate pharmacists’ value at the national level.  The database can be utilized by the federal government to truly demonstrate the value of pharmacists during this healthcare crises. I understand this would be a challenging task but this type of intervention will help the pharmacy profession take a quantum leap forward in value and be recognized as a major contributor to the care of our patients.  

Michael J. Cawley, PharmD, RRT, CPFT, FCCM, has more than 25 years of experience practicing in the areas of medical, surgical, trauma, and burn intensive care as both a critical care clinical pharmacist and registered respiratory therapist.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Population Health Learning Network. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

Reference:

  1. Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing. CMS.gov. Published May 8, 2020. Accessed September 4, 2020. https://www. cms.gov/files/document/se20017.pdf.

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