The medication use process is complex and includes five primary steps – prescribing, preparation, dispensing, administration and monitoring of pharmaceuticals. Within each of these processes, evidenced based recommendations have been established to guide health care providers. A deviance from any of these recommendations may lead to patient harm. Given the complex and distinct components of this process, a medication use expert is necessary to fully evaluate each step and identify gaps for optimal patient care.
Toxicology refers to adverse effects experienced as a result of pharmaceutical or chemical exposure. For such products, there is often a delicate balance and narrow therapeutic index window between producing the intended benefit and excess exposure leading to harmful effects. In the same way, under exposure of a pharmaceutical can lead to sub-optimal outcomes. Because there are patient-specific factors involved in how an individual is expected to respond to a pharmaceutical, it is important for an expert in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and toxicology to evaluate suspected toxicology cases.
Care delivery systems are commonly held accountable for institutional acts or admissions when these cause or contribute to patient harm. Areas of specific corporate liability include recruitment of incompetent providers, poor history of corporate action against incompetent providers, failure to document and maintain high-quality practice standards, and failure to maintain tests, equipment, and supplies deemed standard of care. Healthcare regulatory experts are necessary to both proactively and retroactively identify corporate liability risk points.
Ethical practice and compliance standards exist in all healthcare settings to ensure high-quality patient care and outcomes. Care delivery systems and providers must develop, organize, manage and direct all functions of compliance including policies and procedures, performance review, risk assessment, audits, and staff education and training. Healthcare regulatory experts and experienced clinicians understand these critical and time intensive processes, and can offer onsite partnership, robust regulation summary, gap analysis tools, and ongoing support.