Although not required for entry into pharmacy practice, a one-year residency affords the Pharm.D. graduate an opportunity to develop expertise in clinical pharmacy practice and specialty areas. Residency positions are currently available in community pharmacy. Some of the objectives of Mercer residency programs are:
- To provide challenging post-graduate opportunities for highly motivated Pharm.D. graduates to specialize in the delivery of pharmaceutical care services, to improve their teaching abilities and to develop research skills.
- To serve as a catalyst for change to more patient-oriented services in health systems, nursing homes and the community pharmacy environment.
- To integrate clinical skills with proficiency in state-of-the-art medical information technology systems and well-developed written and verbal communication skills to produce drug information/medical communication specialists uniquely qualified to practice in academia and the pharmaceutical industry.
- To assist the College and the Pharmacy Practice faculty in:
- Meeting Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education accreditation guidelines for experiential and didactic teaching
- Providing backup support for ongoing patient services offered by Mercer faculty
- Generating quality publishable practice-oriented research
To provide a structured and advanced education and training experience for pharmacists whose ability, motivation and career aspirations suggest potential for creative and innovative leadership in community pharmacy practice. The resident will achieve professional competence in the following outcomes to become a community pharmacist or future community pharmacy educator with the ability to integrate various roles while continuing to move the profession of pharmacy forward:
- Develop, manage and implement evidence-based, patient-centered care
- Collaborate with and educate/train other professionals of the health care team to optimize patient care
- Enhance skills to accelerate growth in pharmacy operational services
- Manage and improve the medication-use process
- Exercise leadership, practice management and project management skills
- Utilize medical informatics to understand/provide medication and practice-related information
Walgreens Clinical is located in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, about 20 minutes from Mercer. This particular store is a wellness store, developed in an effort to explore strategies to advance the practice of community pharmacy.
This residency site encompasses many patient care services, of which the main focus is Diabetes Self-Education and Management (DSME). In addition to offering DSME at Walgreens Clinical, the site also collaborates with a local physician to offer in-office DSME and has a satellite location at Mercer University.
The Walgreens Clinical DSME program is an American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) recognized site. The program is designed to empower patients to take control of their diabetes and focuses on behavioral changes they can make to increase their quality of life. The program uses a curriculum and review processes that meet the requirements of the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education suggested by the American Diabetes Association. Patients are referred to the program by their physician, and correspondence is sent to the physician during their education process. Physicians are detailed about the program by the pharmacist and resident at the site through office visits, lunch and learns sessions and in-services.
Other patient care services at the Walgreens Clinical include:
- Medication Therapy Management (MTM) utilizing the Outcomes and Mirixa Software systems.
- Immunizations, including but not limited to, influenza, shingles, pneumococcal and meningococcal.
- Medication adherence counseling using Rite Aid’s Prescription Adviser.
- Hypertension, diabetes, BMI and asthma screenings.
- Quit for You, Rite Aid’s Smoking Cessation Program.
- One Trip Refill, Rite Aid’s refill synchronization program.
Walgreens Clinical provides access to several computers and software programs including Clinical Pharmacology, CE City and Pharmacist’s Letter.
In addition to the Walgreens Clinical site, the resident spends one morning per week providing DSME at the Good Samaritan Health Center in Atlanta. The Good Samaritan Health Center is a nonprofit, Christian clinic that provides health care to the indigent population. This site involves exposure to a Spanish-speaking population, patient assistant programs, laboratory values, monitoring parameters and referrals to other disciplines related to diabetes care.
The Walgreens Clinical has been a member of the Mercer University Community Pharmacy Practice Residency Program since 1998. The resident’s responsibilities include those mentioned above plus:
- Participation in ongoing clinical programs
- Communication with insurance companies and patients regarding payment of services
- Correspondence with patients and physicians
- Maintenance of accurate and complete patient records
- Reporting of patient care activities to the Walgreens corporate office
- Documentation of pharmacist interventions
- Provision of drug information to patients and other health care providers
- Perform finger sticks and foot exams
- Update educational materials
- Experiential and didactic teaching within Mercer University College of Pharmacy
- Development of a research project, which may include a grant proposal(s)
- Staffing component
- Attendance at local and national pharmacy organization meetings
- Oversight and mentoring of pharmacy students.
The Kroger Pharmacy/Mercer University College of Pharmacy Residency Program focuses on training graduates in providing advanced patient care services in the community setting. Residents trained through this program are prepared to:
- Provide advanced patient care to a diverse population.
- Engage in interdisciplinary and collaborative team practice.
- Educate patients, pharmacy students, pharmacists and other health care professionals.
- Deliver proficient managerial skills.
- Exercise professional leadership skills through community and professional involvement.
The resident’s activities include:
- Providing direct patient care services to diverse populations through multiple practice sites within the community pharmacy setting
- Leading, coaching and training select pharmacy locations on the delivery of patient care services in pharmacy workflow
- Providing educational presentations to health care professionals including pharmacists and technicians and community stakeholders
- Patient coaching, counseling and education in the following disease states but not limited to:
- Provider of various health screenings
- Blood pressure
- Diabetes risk assessment/glucose
- Lipid panel
- Proficient in Immunization Delivery by providing patient vaccination assessments, vaccination administration in community pharmacies and off-site clinic opportunities
- Medication Therapy Management services utilizing Mirixa and Outcomes platforms
- Participation in delivering diabetes self-management training and health coaching at selected Kroger Pharmacy locations to patients enrolled in employee wellness programs
- IPPE and APPE student pharmacist precepting
- Teaching, research and literature publication at Mercer University College of Pharmacy
- Professional involvement in state and national organizations
The Walgreens Specialty/Mercer University College of Pharmacy Residency Program provides postgraduate training that enables residents to achieve their professional goals, become a leader within the profession, provide compassionate care for members of their communities and contribute to the purpose of Walgreens to champion everyone’s right to be happy and healthy.
The residency program site is based at the Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy located within DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur, Georgia. This premier pharmacy location offers a variety of innovative clinical pharmacy services for patients who are prescribed complex therapies. This site also offers a bedside prescription delivery program for patients discharged from the hospital. The community pharmacists at this site work closely with medical staff to resolve drug therapy problems and improve transitions of care. In addition, residents gain insights on management issues that can affect the implementation of patient care services in the community pharmacy setting.
The resident will participate in the following activities:
- Development of health and wellness programs
- Disease state management programs in areas such as transplant, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, oncology, Crohn’s disease and rheumatology
- Pediatric oncology and compounding
- Medication therapy management
- Pharmacist-administered immunizations
- Community outreach programs
- Develop and conduct a practice-based research project
- Present findings at appropriate regional and national professional meetings
- Execute marketing strategies for the promotion of patient-care services; and
- Provide clinical instruction and facilitation to student pharmacists at the college and practice sites.