The Specialty Pharmacy at UC Davis Health has been accredited through 2020 by URAC, an independent nonprofit organization and national leader in promoting health-care quality through accreditation, certification and measurement.
The accreditation recognizes the Specialty Pharmacy for the highest level of commitment to quality care, improved processes and better patient outcomes.
“It’s necessary for specialty pharmacies to provide a higher level of treatment for patients so desired outcomes are achieved,” said URAC President and CEO Kylanne Green. “With URAC accreditation, people know that UC Davis Health’s Specialty Pharmacy strives to adhere to industry best practices.”
John Grubbs, chief of the Department of Pharmacy Services at UC Davis, began the journey of establishing specialty pharmacy services at the medical center seven years ago. The approach brings pharmacists and medical providers together to work collaboratively to deliver the best patient care.
After developing and implementing the first specialty program in the area of transplant, programs in oncology, hepatology, neurology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, dermatology, infectious diseases, cardiology and, most recently, pulmonology, were created. Over the years, these programs have cared for more than 2,000 specialty patients and have improved outcomes.
Grubbs highlights the work done as a member of the Hepatitis C treatment team as a good example of how successful Specialty Pharmacy programs have been in helping to manage patients and their medications. The team has cared for more than 800 patients, achieving a 97-percent cure rate.
According to UC Davis hepatologist Eric W. Chak, “I could not imagine the Hepatology Clinic at UC Davis Medical Center without the Specialty Pharmacy team. In an age of medicine where treatments for chronic hepatitis C have become more costly and seemingly out of reach, the Specialty Pharmacy team makes it look easy. They consistently overcome barriers to medication access and walk patients through their treatment journey step-by-step.
“The URAC Specialty Pharmacy accreditation is well-deserved and validates the quality of care delivered by our pharmacists. They are truly indispensable,” Chak said.
Grubbs agrees, “There are so many people to thank for our success. Dave Mitchell had the vision to initiate this program and the leadership to bring it to where it is today. Our clinical pharmacists collaborate as members of the medical-care team, working with patients to minimize side effects and drug interactions to achieve optimal outcomes. Our pharmacy technicians and medical office service coordinators (MOSCs) are equally essential, helping to ensure access and adherence to medications with monthly phone calls to patients.”
In 2015 a team of pharmacists including David Mitchell, Stacy Knox, Kristine Chin and the entire specialty pharmacy staff began the lengthy process to gain URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation. After 14 months and creating and implementing 60 new policies and procedures, UC Davis received full accreditation status in March 2017.
“Achieving URAC Accreditation for our Specialty Pharmacy program validates what we’ve known all along – UC Davis patients who participate in the specialty pharmacy program are receiving the best care possible,” Grubbs said.
The UC Davis Specialty Pharmacy plans to continue to meet the national URAC standards and renew accreditation every three years.