Lifespan Pharmacy Receives URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation

December 18, 2014

Only pharmacy in Rhode Island and one of only eight in New England to earn this designation 

Lifespan Pharmacy, located on the campus of Rhode Island Hospital, has earned Specialty Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, a Washington, D.C.-based health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. The accreditation recognizes Lifespan’s commitment to promoting quality health services and is a reflection of its focus to ensure the highest standards for safety, quality, satisfaction and outcomes.

“This is an important accomplishment for the Lifespan Pharmacy and affirms our decision to launch a hospital-based pharmacy,” said Christine M. Berard-Collins, MBA, RPh, director of pharmacy for Rhode Island, The Miriam and Bradley hospitals. “Being based within a hospital system makes us unique in that our clinical pharmacists are located in many of the clinics where our patients are receiving care. As an integrated service, we are working directly with patients’ physicians and health care teams toward the same goal – improving patient outcomes.”

The first Lifespan Pharmacy, which is located at Rhode Island Hospital, opened in early 2013 as part of an effort to reduce readmissions and improve the patient experience. In October, Lifespan opened a second hospital-based pharmacy on the campus of The Miriam Hospital. Both pharmacies are non-profit.

The Lifespan Pharmacy includes a team of 15 highly trained and nationally certified clinical pharmacists in specialty areas such as oncology, transplant, hepatitis, pediatrics, neurosciences, pain management, critical care, diabetes, ambulatory care and infectious diseases.

According to Collins, patients realize many benefits from the URAC accreditation and from the pharmacy being part of an academic medical center. “We often have experience with specialty medications during their investigational phase, before they are available to the public or other pharmacies,” she said. “This pre-market experience makes us more knowledgeable about the medication and the types of side effects a patient may experience.”

Specialty drugs or medications are typically used to treat complex, chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel disease and hepatitis C. These medications require special storage, handling and administration. They also involve a significant degree of patient education and monitoring.

The Lifespan Pharmacy is open to all consumers and offers walk-in as well as appointments for adult flu, pneumonia and shingles vaccinations. Medications can be provided to patients at bedside, prior to discharge, or delivered to the home at no charge. Refills can also be done by phone, online or using a mobile app. For more information, visit www.lifespanpharmacy.org.