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CDR Tammy Buntjer

Tammy Buntjer


Clinical Informaticist

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Anchorage, AK

Her Story

Dr. Tammy Buntjer received her BS in Pharmacy from Auburn University in 1997. She became a Commissioned Officer with the United States Public Health Service, and began her pharmacy career as a staff pharmacist in a remote Indian Health Service Hospital in South Dakota, quickly taking over as Chief Pharmacist. Dr. Buntjer subsequently served at the Albuquerque Indian Hospital as a Senior Pharmacist and Pharmacy Director, and was involved in many informatics related projects before transferring to Alaska. After two years in the outpatient pharmacy she became a critical care pharmacist at the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC). She became more involved with informatics in that role, managing many of the pharmacy's electronic programs, including order sets and electronic formulary. When Alaska Native decided to transition to a commercial electronic health record, Dr. Buntjer was assigned to lead the inpatient pharmacy implementation and managed to complete a post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in the midst of the EHR implementation and go-live. She has served as the lead inpatient pharmacy analyst for the past 11 years, and is responsible for the maintenance of inpatient pharmacy functionality and related medication processes for Alaska Native Medical Center and several Tribal Health Organizations across the state of Alaska. She is also integrally involved with clinical decision support processes, particularly those related to medications. She has completed the ASHP Pharmacy Informatics Certificate Program as well as numerous EHR specific certifications for the Cerner Millennium EHR. She currently works at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) as Clinical Informaticist and developed curriculum for an elective pharmacy informatics rotation for PGY1 residents.

Overview of Facility/Health System

ANTHC is a non-profit Tribal health organization serving Alaska Native and American Indian people living in Alaska. ANTHC is the largest, most comprehensive Tribal health organization within the US. ANTHC manages the ANMC in conjunction with Southcentral Foundation. ANMC includes a 182-bed tertiary care hospital as well as numerous medical specialty clinics and primary care services. The Electronic Health Record is also shared by Tribal Health Organizations across the state of Alaska, including 18 primary care clinics and 5 Tribal hospitals. Over the past year, this accounted for more than 10,000 hospital admissions, nearly 80,000 ER visits and 1.3 million outpatient visits. ANMC is a Level II Trauma Center as well as a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center. ANMC is provides medical residency rotations in both the hospital and outpatient areas and has two ASHP accredited pharmacy practice residencies including more than 50 pharmacy student externships within the pharmacy department annually.

Significant Projects

Dr. Buntjer has been integrally involved in the expansion of the EHR to 5 regional Tribal hospitals across the state of Alaska. She has also been involved in the implementation of medication clinical decision support, dose range checking and optimization of pharmacy workflows, including the implementation of barcode scanning of medications during the dispensing process, implementation of an electronic process for medication requests from nursing, and development and implementation of custom clinical decision support rules to reduce duplicate medication indications.

Initial Involvement in ASHP

Dr. Buntjer has been a member of ASHP for many years, but only recently became involved as an active member of the Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology.

Why did you become involved in ASHP?

Dr. Buntjer originally became involved in ASHP for the training opportunities and continuing education. She has previously completed certificate programs in Critical Care and in Pharmacy Informatics. She became involved with the SOPIT to collaborate with other pharmacists involved in informatics and share lessons learned, best practices, and new ideas.

Advice for Someone New to Your Specialty Area

An EHR is a complex system with many integrated components that touch users in different ways on the front end. Take the time to understand the needs of your end users and workflows and don't expect to learn everything needed to maintain the system overnight. Be prepared for constant change and the constant need to learn new things.

How would you explain the value of ASHP to a friend or colleague?

ASHP offers a wealth of resources and training opportunities for pharmacists in a wide variety of specialty areas. There are numerous opportunities to get involved and collaborate with others.

What is the value of ASHP for the profession?

ASHP provides a voice for the pharmacy profession through advocacy, education, practice guidelines, working groups, conferences and more. It helps elevate the profession of pharmacy by providing opportunities for pharmacist to learn and to get involved.

Pharmacy Informaticist

Interfacing IT and medication use to improve safety and patient care
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Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology

The Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology (SOPIT) connects pharmacy informaticists who share common professional interest and goals

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SOPIT on ASHP Connect

SOPIT on Connect

Member-only section discussions, blogs and announcements on ASHP Connect

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Pharmacy Advancement Initiative (PAI)

PAI 2030

Tools and resources aimed at advancing pharmacy practice through the next decade
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