Marc A. Willner, PharmD, RPh ([email protected]) is a lead pharmacy informatics specialist for the Cleveland Clinic Health System in Cleveland, OH, a 20-hospital health system spanning Ohio and Florida. Willner also serves as the PGY2 harmacy informatics residency program director for the Cleveland Clinic Health System, a role in which he has held for five years. Willner specializes in inpatient medication use workflows, primarily focused on clinical decision support; including alerting development and maintenance, pharmacist monitoring tool development, and clinical documentation. Willner graduated with his PharmD degree from Duquesne University in 2012, completed a PGY1 pharmacy residency at Maimonides Medical Center in 2013, and completed a PGY2 pharmacy informatics residency at Cleveland Clinic in 2014.
Willner has been an active member of the Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology since 2017, serving as the chair of the Section Advisory Group on Professional Development during the 2019-2020 term, and chair of the Section’s Educational Steering Committee during the 2022-2023 term.
Pharmacy and technology are inextricably linked. The pharmacy community has shown a hunger for growth and a willingness to embrace technology in order to improve patient safety, efficacy, and efficiency – redefining best practices and care paradigms while maintaining pharmacy’s role within safe medication use processes.
Pharmacy Informatics is reaching a crossroads. In previous years, the practice of pharmacy informatics dealt with the implementation and support of electronic health records, and further from that, the support of technologies for medication use, including ancillary medication use systems, and enhancing the electronic health record using available features and clinical decision support tools. With the rapid advent of artificial intelligence, we may see a shift in the focus of pharmacy informatics from supporting systems to determining how this new frontier will integrate into medication workflows. Additionally, I foresee the practice of pharmacy informatics finally breaking through into a higher emphasis in academia. We will need to train learners, not necessarily to all be pharmacy informaticists, rather, on what to expect from pharmacy informatics as they move into clinical practice, and how to assist in integrating technology with medication workflows. We need to be mindful of ensuring that learners have the skills necessary to utilize technology involving medications, because in pharmacy informatics, every patient is our patient.
I am sincerely honored to be nominated for the position of director-at-large. If elected, I will be committed to advance the practice of pharmacy informatics to the next frontier that we are rapidly encountering and serve as a liaison to the section members’ ideas and skills.