Coram, CVS Specialty Infusion Services | Brain Moe, PharmD

Coram, CVS Specialty Infusion Services | Brain Moe, PharmD


Coram, CVS Specialty Infusion Services Hi. My name is Brian Moe. I’m the branch manager for a Coram location up in Moorhead, Minnesota. I’ve been with the company 10 years, and started off as a clinical pharmacist, and took on the role as
pharmacist in charge. Moved up to pharmacy manager and currently the
branch manager at the location. Coram is a division of CVS Health. We are a
nationwide home infusion company that serves patients that are transitioning
from the hospital to their home for a number of complex therapies including IV
antibiotics, TPN which is total parenteral nutrition, pain management as
well as a number of specialty products. I’ve been with Coram for 10 years. Prior
to my time at Coram, I had been involved with many different pharmacy settings
including hospital, retail, as well as the pharmaceutical industry.
I chose Coram specifically because of the home infusion aspect. I feel that home
infusion helps patients heal better, they recover better in the home. And so I saw
home infusion as really the future of pharmacy, future of medicine as well as
just a great opportunity to use my talents and my expertise and knowledge
in pharmacy and apply it both in a clinical as well as the aspect of
pharmacy in the home. So working at Coram, I really
appreciated the CVS culture that supports volunteerism and getting
employees engaged in their own communities. It’s really something that
has helped me to balance some of the work-life. Being able to serve on a
non-profit board in my own community for six years. I was able to give of my time
and talents. And also financially, there’s ways to apply for donation grants
through CVS Health volunteer website. Just a great appreciative effort that
goes into again the culture that CVS and Coram want to put back into their own
communities. To me Coram stands apart from other
companies because of the fact that when you’re practicing pharmacy within a
Coram location, you’re part of a very special small team within a Coram
branch practicing pharmacy helping those patients transition to the home, but
you’re also part of the greater Coram nationwide company, as well as the CVS
Health enterprise. Coram pharmacists participate in a
diverse amount of activities on a day-to- day basis. And that’s one thing I really
feel is exciting about the position. You are involved in not just one specific
task, you are really called to do many different tasks on many different levels
throughout a patient care setting. One important aspect is clinical monitoring.
We are monitoring kidney function. We’re monitoring the liver function. We’re
assessing the levels of the medication in the bloodstream. We also do patient
assessments. So we’re talking to those patients very often to make sure that
what’s happening in the home is what we want to be happening. Are they having
troubles with their infusions? Are they recovering and feeling better from their
therapy? And are we getting to that outcome of therapy in a timely manner in
making progression of what we want to happen? So the clinical monitoring and
assessment is a very valuable part, but there’s also another facet of pharmacist
activities in which they actually go into the clean room and do the
dispensing of the medication, as well as the double-check and verification of all
the information that is put on the label as well as the verification that we used
the right med. The intake pharmacist is really the first interaction with that
patient, and the referral source of when a patient’s expecting to be discharged.
That intake pharmacist’s sole responsibility is to get all the
information needed for a smooth transition from the hospital to a home
setting. One of the best things that that intake pharmacists can do is to answer
all those questions, be there for the patient, explain as much as possible to
what’s going to be expected, so that there’s no real surprises. And from a
patient point of view they are comfortable and they’re going to be able
to do this in the home. And so that’s another key aspect of what Coram
pharmacists do on a day-to-day basis. As a branch manager, when I’m looking to
hire a pharmacist, I look for a number of skills that pharmacists should possess.
The first of them is communication, which is vitally important when we’re talking
with patients. We need to listen well to what they’re saying. We need to be able
to dig into some of the comments or anything that they’re coming to us with.
And being able to assess that and get the information that’s really
important for us to make those good clinical judgments with. And to be able
to do that effectively over the phone is really a skill that we look for as far
as communication goes. Another good skill that a pharmacist should possess to work
at Coram would be teamwork. Pharmacists that are detail-oriented also do very
well at Coram. One of the major functions that we do in the cleanroom is
to check those prescriptions that are compounded by technicians in that
sterile suite. So they’re mixing that medication, they’re doing the
calculations to get that medication done. And so before that goes out to the
patient’s home, the pharmacist’s job is to double-check all those calculations,
to make sure all the medications that were pulled and mixed are exactly what
was prescribed for. So that at the end of the day, we’re getting the right
medication of the right dose to the right patient. So one of the most rewarding parts of
being a pharmacist and being at Coram in home infusion, is the fact that we are
developing these long-term relationships with patients that are on infusion
therapies. The majority of our patients are acute therapies. So the IV antibiotics –
they’re for four to six weeks. Many of those patients come to us. We get to the
end of their therapy and those are a big part of what we do. There is also a
segment of our patient population that are lifelong. They need the medications
that we are actually dispensing for them. They are dependent on us getting those
medications to them to stay alive. Building those relationships with
patients as well as the families and the caregivers is just really a very
rewarding part of my job. Sometimes those patients require TPN, that once they
start they will be on it for life. There’s also other patients that are on
immunotherapies. So they do not have any immune system. Again, they’re vitally
dependent on us to do our job. And so that’s a very rewarding part of what I
do every day. Specifically for me in our pharmacy, there are two patients that are
siblings who have needed TPN from birth. They were born without the ability to
absorb any food and so they’re totally dependent on the TPN or the parenteral
nutrition that we provide. It’s an amazing feeling to get a card or a
picture from this family to see that they’ve grown, that they are healthy, that
they are the people that they were meant to be, and to be able to know that I
specifically impacted their life is just amazing feeling and really a reason why
it going into work every day. If there would be any advice that I’d
give to a pharmacy student trying to get into home infusion, it would be “get
some work experience.” If there’s anything you can do to work in pharmacy and
to know what you like and what you dislike. Get some experience in
pharmaceutical care and that patient interaction – that will apply it very
nicely in the home infusion environment. If you want to know for sure that home
infusion is something you want to get into, try and get a rotation within home
infusion to know specifically that you would like that environment. And then
lastly, I would say just be flexible. Be flexible with where you’re willing to go.
Coram has branches across the U.S. So the more flexible you are into going where
we need pharmacists, the more successful you’re gonna be in finding that job
that’s gonna fit you and make you a very good clinical pharmacist at Coram. One of the questions I often get asked
is do you need home infusion experience to get a job at Coram? And to that I
would say Coram has an amazing training program. That, if you are a pharmacist
looking for another opportunity and Coram and home infusion is something
that you’d be interested in, do not let that prohibit you from seeking that
opportunity. We have a training program that can help assist you in learning all
of those skills and things necessary to understand home infusion, as well as
working in that sterile compounding environment. If you don’t have home
infusion experience, don’t let that discourage you from applying for a
position at Coram. Working at Coram means to me leading
with integrity and respect. Respect to your fellow co-workers, as well as
patients. Every day coming to work with full intent to doing your best job. Doing
our best, day in and day out, to bring that service to the patient.
Working at Coram also means to me caring. Caring is a value that Coram
holds onto tightly. I see this day in and day out throughout the company. That
we are showing each patient that we service – the most caring atmosphere, the
most caring interaction to provide the best outcome for their health. For more information visit CoramHC.com

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