Core Services

The Department of Pharmacy provides numerous services for the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. The following are some examples of what we provide.

Academic Affiliation - Hershey Medical Center's Department of Pharmacy is honored to serve as a clinical clerkship and hospital externship site for Duquesne University, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Temple University, University of Maryland, University of Pittsburgh and Wilkes University Colleges of Pharmacy. Tomorrow's practitioners are offered a broad variety of educational opportunities and experiences in medicine, critical care, pediatrics, infectious diseases, transplant, ambulatory care, and toxicology.

Ambulatory Care Services – The Pharmacy Department operates a full-service outpatient prescription center in the University Physicians Center and offers pharmaceutical compounding not available at most retail locations. Additionally, outpatient chemotherapy infusion services and consultative services for patients enrolled in the Hershey Medical Center Anticoagulation Clinic enhance patient understanding of disease states, reduce medication misadventures associated with medications known to have high potential for toxicity, and provide an avenue for patients to increase their participation in their own care.

ASHP Accredited Residency – A one-year Pharmacy Practice Residency, established in 1985, provides a challenging program to extend pharmacists' training in all aspects of institutional pharmacy practice with an emphasis on pharmaceutical care. To meet individual residents needs, the program is flexible and the resident is encouraged to develop areas of interest and expertise in pharmacy practice. The Pharmacy Department is proud of the success of its residency program and of the accomplishments of its residents. The entire department participates in training the residents, and this enables the program to achieve a high level of recognition for excellence.

Drug Information – The Drug Information Center is equipped with a variety of references which include medical and pharmacy journals, medical textbooks and compendia, abstracting services and cross-referenced articles. Drug information questions can be telephoned to the department "hotline" or referred to any pharmacist. Specific requests for information that require in-depth, systematic searches are forwarded to the Drug Information Center.

Drug Usage Evaluation (DUE) – The DUE program represents a joint venture between the Medical Staff and the Pharmacy Department to monitor appropriate utilization of drugs at Hershey Medical Center. Target drugs are selected based on volume, cost or narrow therapeutic safety margin. Patient outcome-oriented DUEs are also included. Target drugs are monitored to assure appropriate selection of therapy and adherence to recommended dosage guidelines based on evidence-based drug prescribing. The DUE program assures high-quality, cost-effective drug utilization.

Interdisciplinary Rounds – Members of the pharmacy staff participate in multi-disciplinary rounds with medical teams from the Departments of Surgery, Medicine, and Pediatrics. The interaction enhances direct patient care and the selection of appropriate drug therapy. This activity plays an integral role in providing optimal pharmaceutical care for inpatients and outpatients.

Investigational Drug Services – The Pharmacy Department is active in numerous investigational protocols at Hershey Medical Center. This program has grown since 1983 to include more than 130 active inpatient and outpatient drug studies. Hershey Medical Center is associated with multiple investigating groups including the Gynecological Oncology Group, The Children's Oncology Group, Central Pennsylvania Oncology Group, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health. The Investigational Review Board (IRB) of Hershey Medical Center reviews and approves protocols for use in the facility. Pharmacists serve on the IRB and manage distribution of investigational agents.

Newsletters – The Pharmacy Department publishes a monthly newsletter that discusses contemporary pharmacotherapy, new drugs/drug uses, P&T Committee actions and related medication topics. The newsletter is distributed to all healthcare professionals of Hershey Medical Center via the Pharmacy Department Infonet website.

Pharmacokinetic Consult Service – This service is available upon written request of a physician. Pharmacists provide individualized dosing recommendations based on pertinent patient data. With initiation of the consult, a pharmacist will suggest dosing regimens to the physician and follow the patient's clinical status and serum drug levels on a routine basis. Monitoring of patient status continues until the drug therapy is discontinued.

Staff Development – Pharmacy is committed to furthering the development of our staff's knowledge through participation in continuing education programs and membership in various local, state, and national pharmaceutical associations. Pharmacy staff members frequently facilitate drug education of other allied health disciplines by lecturing at seminars and in-services at Hershey Medical Center and throughout the community.