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Any Informatics Pharmacists out there??

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by rxblitzrx, 05.16.12.

  1. rxblitzrx

    rxblitzrx Short-Bus Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm looking to network with other Informatics Pharmacists who have experience with Epic and Willow. Or any IT Pharmacist for that matter. I've recently been hired by a pediatric hospital to start an Epic implementation and would love to build professional networks.

    PM me.

    Thanks!
    Last edited: 05.30.12
  2. habeansha

    habeansha

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    I am interested in informatics, but none of my teachers really knew anything about it. Do you need a residency to get into it? any tips on getting into pharmacy informatics?
  3. dreamofdental

    dreamofdental

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    If you don't mind, please share if you did a residency, masters or certificate program in Informatics to qualify for the job you got
  4. rxblitzrx

    rxblitzrx Short-Bus Member

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    Sorry guys. I wish I could give you some helpful information, but I can't. I didn't do a residency and I didn't get a master's certificate. I do have a unique background in that I have an undergrad degree in MIS along with my PharmD. Informatics is becoming a board certified specialty though and with demand as high as it is, I would definitely pursue that route if I was still in school.
  5. dvtrinh

    dvtrinh

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    Hello, my name is David Trinh and I am finishing up my pharmacy informatics residency at Sentara (Epic and Omnicell hospitals) in about a month. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions that I can.

    Formerly, pharmacy IT roles were typically filled by pharmacists that happened to have computer skills: they learned how to solve problems along the way and eventually became the go-to guy to handle issues related to the computer system.

    Now, those of us recent graduates go through residency. First we do a PGY1 general practice residency generally in a hospital setting in order to gain clinical skills. We have to know what is clinically important so that the work we do on the IT side is correct. Then we do a PGY2 or a fellowship in pharmacy informatics and learn how to build medication records, clinical alerts, management of automatic dispensing systems (med cabinets), etc.
  6. pharmaguide

    pharmaguide

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    Informatics is a very fast-growing specialty within pharmacy. Some pharmacists I know needed residencies although most did not (they just worked their way up in the hospital). If you're good with the technical and networking components of computers, software, databases, and possess decent communication skills to interpret and communicate data, then you're deemed a good fit. :D
  7. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    In order to be an effective IT pharmacist, you need to first understand the hospital pharmacy operation and nursing workflow. Informatics pharmacist used to work with ADM in the past but now the role encompasses a knowledge of CPOE EHR BMV EMR CDM and the understanding healthcare billing and coding. The full package of knowledge of how health system operates. And be able to transfer the knowledge into a package of software your hospital spent million purchasing. Yup.
  8. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    And IT pharmacy isn't about knowing the hardware. Its about making the workflow more efficient utilizing the software. All in the quest for the mighty Meaningful Use Dollars.
  9. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    Unless of course you work for the federal government...
  10. fattunesy

    fattunesy Living the IT life now...

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    I am a Clinical Informatics Pharmacist (MEDITECH and Omnicell). I started as an outpatient pharmacy manager and ran that for a couple years. A few months after starting in the OP pharmacy I transitioned to inpatient as a clinical / staff pharmacist doing primarily ICU and Telemetry, while still managing the OP pharmacy and working there a day a week. Starting this past November I transitioned over to my IT role as a newly created full time position. I got it because I was good with MEDITECH, understood hospital workflow (especially at my hospital), had administrative experience, am a self motivated learner, and was interested in the position. My hospital is small so I had to wear a lot of hats at various times, which has prepared me well for the new job. As a totally new position I have been defining my roles as I go and teaching myself what I need to know. The overarching goal of everything I do is to get those Meaningful Use dollars.

    Since starting the job I have learned how to do some basic coding in Magic language (terrible syntax, terrible language). To supplement and practice my skills I am learning Java and Python on the side. I have also been teaching myself to script data entry as well.

    If you have questions I would be happy to answer them as best I can. There seemed to be a lot of interest in this when I went back to my alma mater for an alumni talk with students thing.
  11. rxblitzrx

    rxblitzrx Short-Bus Member

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    Can someone tell me what Omnicell is? I've seen that mentioned several times in this thread.
  12. rxblitzrx

    rxblitzrx Short-Bus Member

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    I've heard they're making Informatics a Board certified specialty. Does anyone have details on this?
  13. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    Omnicell is an ADM like Pyxis.
  14. fattunesy

    fattunesy Living the IT life now...

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    Think of it like an ATM for medications out on the floors. The pharmacy staff stocks them and nursing is able to pull meds for patients from them. Pyxis and Accu-dose are the other big names. Interestingly (to me at least), Omnicell was originally a materials management supply cabinet so some of the quirks of how it operates are legacies from its original function.
  15. fattunesy

    fattunesy Living the IT life now...

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  16. rxblitzrx

    rxblitzrx Short-Bus Member

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    Thanks for the help on Omnicell, etc...

    Any other informatics pharmacists out there?

    Does anyone know where the major resources for pharmacy informatics are? I've bookmarked AMIA and ASHP's section on Informatics.
  17. Dig0

    Dig0 New Member

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    Is there any need for IT pharmacists outside of hospitals? Do software/hardware vendors employ pharmacists?
  18. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    How else would EHR software vendors design and create pharmacy OS and CPOE?
  19. rxblitzrx

    rxblitzrx Short-Bus Member

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    I think retail chains need IT pharmacists too. It might not be for EMR, but I have a feeling the Direct Project will create jobs for some sort of IT pharmacist.
  20. filipelli

    filipelli Informatics Pharmacist

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    Informatics pharmacist here.

    I can tell you that every hospital needs one to manage operations and keep up with the fast pace of drug shortages..I feel like a lot of my work is manipulating what is seen by prescribers, what is orderable, what is dispensed etc etc. It's real time work and you need to be really good at problem solving, time management and you have to remember every nook and cranny of the system to make it work. Workflow and operations experience is a must.
  21. D5WwithNSS

    D5WwithNSS

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    can any infomatics pharmacists please PM me. I am really interested in EPIC, cerner, or Meditech training. I just graduated pharmacy school and I am looking for the easiest and quickest way to get certified in EPIC, cerner or Meditech.

    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
  22. rxblitzrx

    rxblitzrx Short-Bus Member

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    I can save you some time on Epic searching. They only train people that are already part of an organization using their system. And training only happens at their headquarters in Wisconsin.
  23. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    Why would and should anyone train you in these valuable knowledge and skill sets to someone who has no knowledge base of pharmacy and health systems operational, clinical, and regulatory workflow?
  24. 30Percent

    30Percent Big boy shoes

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    Because he wants the easiest and quickest way to become an informatics pharmacist.
  25. cycloketocaine

    cycloketocaine

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    Meditech is the most ridiculous system. Ever.
  26. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    HCA Meditech is ridiculous. But I've seen worse.
  27. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

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    The best Informatics pharmacists have some sort of clinical or pharmacy work experience. The majority of them were staff pharmacists for a long time and picked up the informatics projects on the side...as the need became greater with CPOE and EMR...these projects turned into full time need. Now they have PGY2's in informatics.
  28. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    Why you gotta burst someones bubble.
  29. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    I have an informatics rotation coming up in the fall...is this a good area to be into? Is it fun? I have no experience in this area but hope I will enjoy it....

    My rotation now is at an insurance company...all I do is read articles all day or look things up on Lexicomp or Micromedex...I love it...I am on the computer all day and that it....Can get boring sometimes though. :/
  30. UConn101

    UConn101

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    Nice! What insurance company is it? Is it a managed care rotation?

    What else do you like about it? :)
  31. codep1nk

    codep1nk

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    Hi! I just wanted to chime in since I recently got hired on to the Epic Willow team at my hospital and have to say it is the best decision I have ever made.

    Glad to hear there is a lot of interest out there. For myself, I've merged my two interests in information systems and pharmacy and for the first time in my life, I actually love my job!

    I did a PGY1 only in acute care. Worked a few years as a clinical pharmacist...then happened that my hospital had a need for more Willow staff. I expressed interest, interviewed, and got the position.

    My clinical background and understanding of my current hospital's workflow is very helpful for my job. I think one of the easiest ways to learn these hospital EMR systems is to just use them as an end user. Learn your system well and tell your manager you're interested in getting involved. I also believe you really need to have an interest (and somewhat basic understanding) in information systems...otherwise, the work can be very tedious at times.

    Meditech is easy and anyone can do it.
    Cerner...only worked with it as an end user so don't know.
    Epic won't let anyone mess with the system unless you get certified through them.

    Good luck to those interested! :)
  32. starsweet

    starsweet

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    If you don't mind, what is your salary? I just was offered the same type of position and was curious. Are you going to the training this summer in Wisconsin? You can PM me if you want. :)
  33. codeb1ue

    codeb1ue ASA Member

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    *edit* oops, accidently replied with my husband's account :)
    Last edited: 05.26.12
  34. codep1nk

    codep1nk

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    Starsweet - I've already gone through the training and am fully certified :cool:. I'll PM you the salary info :).
  35. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    I am at Wellcare. It's medicaid and medicare owned by the state I believe....I make up powerpoint slides and word documents on drugs on their formulary and look up certain drugs etc.

    What do I like about this job:

    *It's soooo RELAXING. You sit by your desk all day...answer the phone sometimes and sometimes go to meetings and give presentations to doctors on drugs on your formulary.
    *It's closed on the weekends so you NEVER work the weekends.
    *My preceptor takes a very long lunch and seems to have a very flexible schedule...she takes off whenever she wants to. She took off 4 or 5 days since I was there and I have only been there for 2 weeks so far.
    *It's interesting...I don't mind reading articles and learning about new drugs...can get boring at times but is fun too! haha...

    *Have I mention no one there ever works on weekends and take vacation days whenever they want to? LOL...

    I don't know what my preceptor's salary is...but if it's in the six figures range then that would be my dream job! hahaha...that or work at home mail order position...all would be great to me. :)
  36. pharmaguide

    pharmaguide

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    You seem to admire the 0.1% super rare pharmacy jobs out there. You sure you went into the right field? :laugh:
  37. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    I ask myself this question all the time. I was offered a position as a sales rep before I started pharmacy school...so I might have to look into sales again if pharmacy doesn't work out.
  38. pharmaguide

    pharmaguide

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    Hopefully with a PharmD degree, you're not considered "overqualified" for jobs. I dislike how the idea of being overqualified even exists! I mean, the more credentials, the better rounded the person will be, right? :(
  39. starsweet

    starsweet

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    Sent you and codep1nk a PM. :D
  40. UConn101

    UConn101

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    That sounds so awesome!

    Is that something you'd want to do in the future full time?
  41. Momrowgal

    Momrowgal

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    One of my friends was hired for a year to do an Epic conversion, now is out of a job even though he was promised work beyond that. Keep in mind that there's a lot of activity right now because of federal deadlines for CPOE/EHR adoption. Once the systems are set up the job market will revert to lower levels. (< > EHR bubble)

    I'm commenting on Z because I would guess he is right here -- no need for you in these positions unless you have solid experience with the work that's getting transitioned.
  42. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

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    Are you kidding? These systems need to be maintained and upgraded constantly. We always have some new feature or improvement happening with our system. We've had EHR for >10 yrs and our informatics pharmacists are valuable to the system.
  43. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    Yeah, the job market is terrible and I agree with you that I am DREAMING if I think I can easily land any of the super rare jobs that everyone else wants! :rolleyes:

    I am not that picky...of course I want a good job like everyone else but I know how to settle too. I am willing to work any job....I prefer NO retail...but if I can't find anything else I would do retail too...as long as I get a SLOWER store with NO drive thru...I think I can handle it. I really prefer ANYTHING BUT retail...but if retail is the only thing there then I will look for one that isn't CVS, Rite Aid or Walgreens! LOL...

    I worked for Target, Walmart and Walgreens before and Walgreens was the only company I hated.

    Or if all else fails I will do pharm sales....not sure if I will be over qualified or not though...I hope NOT! If I apply for pharm sales I would just list my bachelor's degree and leave off the PharmD maybe...I don't know! lol
    I would LOVE my preceptor's job...but like Pharmguide mentioned the job is very hard to land...I WISH I can have that job at graduation...just like I wish I can win the lottery...*sigh*
  44. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    I have a rotation doing informatics....I don't think I mind doing that either....anything but retail...oh god.
  45. xXRAYNEXx

    xXRAYNEXx

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    Oooh I'm interested in this field as well. I was going to be a computer programmer/engineer, so I learned to write in Visual Basic, HTML, and C++ back in high school making simple games and programs. But then I switched to science in college.

    But it seems that jobs in this field are rare and not stable so I'm kind of hesitant to go in it further.
  46. Momrowgal

    Momrowgal

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    Are you adding pharmacists or just keeping the same ones on staff? I was referring to job growth, which is what the people on this board seem to be interested in, and the perception that this is some kind of "hot" field.

    If you are adding more people over the years, then that would point to a reasonable expectation of more jobs. If you are just maintaining the same couple of people who keep up with system changes, that shows that job growth would have to be related to the number of new systems installed.
  47. codep1nk

    codep1nk

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    Yes, I completely agree! It is clear that after we went live with our system that our informatics pharmacists are not going anywhere and we are trying to get approval for more FTE's since our current team is drowning in work.

    I think the field is definitely growing. My hospital initially though that they would hire on extra people to help during our Go-Live process then these extra people would be let go after the pharmacists who moved over the the Epic team came back. However, like I mentioned above, they now realize that it's not possible. After implementation, there is a good amount of maintenance that is required (especially now with all the shortages). With the transition over to CPOE, more pharmacists will always need to be added to the department staff to cover the EMR system and the pharmacy.
  48. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    Electronic health record is no bubble. Its not going to create tens and thousands of new pharmacist positions. But it will create some jobs and will maintain and grow some. Its here to stay.
  49. rxblitzrx

    rxblitzrx Short-Bus Member

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    Informatics is supposed to become a board certified sub-specialty area of pharmacy. There are roughly 15-20 residency programs in the US for this and I'm sure there will be more. This is definitely a "hot" field, but not for a mass number of people like retail. Job growth in this field is definitely on the rise, but like Z says, it's not going to be thousands.
  50. rxblitzrx

    rxblitzrx Short-Bus Member

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    This thread has been very helpful so far. Thank you to all the Informatics Pharmacists who have touched base with me thus far. Would love to meet more of you!


    Are there any professional organizations for Informatics, Pharmacy Informatics, etc...

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