Credentials: Pharm.D., R.Ph., FASHP
Position/Title: Chief Pharmacy Officer
Organization: Baxa Corporation
Primary Specialty: Informatics
Specialties: Medication Use Safety, Pharmaceutical Industry, Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomics, Just Culture, Culture of Safety
I received my B.S. in Natural Sciences in 1971 from Muhlenberg College. I later received my Pharm. D. in 1974 from University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy.
Type of Patient Population Served
Informatics touches all patient populations; my practice primarily involves patients being treated as inpatients.
Roles and Responsibilities
In my role as Chief Pharmacy Officer, I provide professional guidance in product design, product management, regulatory issues, safety issues, and documentation. I also represent the Baxa Corporation in professional venues, speak and write on professional issues, as well as support professional practice through participation in State and National Organizations such as ASHP. I use my knowledge of the profession to work with customer professionals to advance new practice models.
How I Got Where I am Today
I undertook an ASHP-accredited Hospital Pharmacy Residency (PGY-1) followed by approximately 12 years in hospital pharmacy practice, of which the last 8 of those years as a Director of Pharmacy. During those years, I began developing what was then an uncommon interest in computerization. In 1986, I had the opportunity to work with a startup HIS vendor who offered an EMR-centric completely integrated product, and spent 8 years there building pharmacy applications. Subsequently, I joined Baxa (the first time) where I began by managing the installation and support organization for their TPN compounder, and graduated up to the role of Chief Medical Officer. In 2001, I left Baxa to work with Joel Osborne at ForHealth Technologies, Inc., the pioneer in IV robotics. In 2009, Baxa purchased ForHealth Technologies, and, in November of that year, I was named the Chief Pharmacy Officer for the Corporation.
Advice for Students Pursuing this Career Path
Informatics is a fledgling and somewhat unusual pharmacy specialty. Key to its value is recognizing three things:
- Informatics is not an end in itself; it is a tool to better medication therapy management. Never lose sight of that.
- Most of the "nuts and bolts" of informatics is done by people who are trained in their fields, much as we are trained in pharmacy. Our role is therefore NOT to be a programmer, or database manager, or a software designer, but to learn enough of those worlds to properly and completely translate professional requirements into terms these specialists can understand and use.
- The informatics specialists with whom we work see our profession through fresh eyes and will question many of our basic assumptions. We must learn to value that perspective, and develop the courage to answer their questions honestly. From those observations will come software and hardware innovations that will enable future practice for our profession.
Professional Organizations/Activities Outside Day-to-Day Job Responsibilities
I am the immediate past chairman of the ASHP Section on Pharmacy Informatics and Technology (SOPIT), a member of the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists, a founding member of the HIMSS Pharmacy Informatics Task Force, an reviewer for articles relating to technology for the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, a past-president of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists, and an author of articles on informatics and operations. This year, I am also participating as a member of the program committee for the ASHP Leadership Conference, and am the chairman of the Nominating Committee for SOPIT.
You can reach Dennis by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.