Pieter Helmons graduated from Utrecht University School of Pharmacy in 2001. After working in community pharmacy for 2 years, he completed the 4-year hospital pharmacy residency at Catharina Hospital Eindhoven in 2007required to practice hospital pharmacy in The Netherlands. The final year of this residency, Pieter specialized in using clinical decision support technologies to improve medication safety, failure modes and effects analyses and workflow improvement.
In February 2007, Pieter moved to La Jolla, California in the United States and continued his career as a postdoctoral researcher at University of California San Diego (UCSD) Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, supervised by Prof. Charles Daniels. He investigated the effects of bar-coding technology on medication safety at UCSD Health System in San Diego and completed the licensure exams and intern hours required to practice pharmacy in California. From February 2009 to October 2011, Pieter worked as Pharmacist Specialist Pharmacoeconomics at UCSD Health System. He specialized in the use of benchmarking databases and identified multiple cost-savings opportunities by comparing UCSDs drug use patterns with other similar hospitals. During this period, Pieter completed the UCSD Clinical Research Excellence through Supplementary Training (CREST) Masters Program, aimed at empowering clinicians to become better researchers. He was also appointed Assistant Professor at UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and lectured in the Pharmacy Informatics and Applied Pharmacoeconomics courses. After returning to the Netherlands in 2011, Pieter currently works as a hospital pharmacist in St Jansdal Hospital Harderwijk. He is responsible for the safe and effective use of the Automated Dispensing Cabinets in the hospital, implementing effective and efficient medication use monitoring, formulary management and drug distribution practices. In April 2014, Pieter obtained his PhD at the faculty of Medicine at the University of Groningen in Groningen, the Netherlands. The title of his thesis is: “Medication safety through information technology: a focus on medication prescribing and administering”.
He is a member of the hospitals Information Technology Steering Committee, currently tasked with implementing a new hospital-wide Electronic Medical Record. Pieter is a member of the Medication Management Committee of the Dutch Society of Hospital Pharmacists. He co-organized the Dutch Hospital Pharmacy Days in 2012 and 2013. Pieter lectures in the Applied Pharmacoeconomics Course supervised by Prof. Maarten Postma the University of Groningen School Of Pharmacy.
St Jansdal Hospital is a mid-size 380 bed community hospital in the center of the Netherlands. It has 1850 employees and 125 medical specialists. In 2014, 380,000 outpatient visits and 17,300 clinical admissions and 13,000 day admissions were recorded at St Jansdal Hospital.
Advice for Someone New to Your Specialty Area
“As a clinical pharmacist who holds both a California Pharmacist license and a Dutch pharmacist license, the best advice I can give my (future) colleagues is to keep an open mind. There are multiple ways to provide great pharmaceutical care and it’s definitely not a one size fits all approach.”