Like many hospitals and healthcare systems, Duke University Hospital’s online formulary consisted of a spreadsheet housed on the intranet. The spreadsheet only listed medications that were considered formulary, and there was no information provided concerning associated restrictions, policies, or guidelines. This information was not readily available or easily retrievable for nurses and other staff members.
In 2011, Duke University implemented Rpharmy’s Formweb as their online formulary and drug safety database.
“Formweb revolutionized the way we house formulary and other vital information,” said Cathy Vaughan, Clinical Pharmacist at the hospital’s Center for Medication Policy and Formweb administrator.
“Before Formweb, our formulary was just a spreadsheet with a list of medications stating that these drugs had been reviewed. We didn’t know if there were restrictions. There was no linked drug monograph, and the policy was not tagged to the drug. It was not a good system.”
Now Formweb serves as their “one-stop-shop” for all medications - formulary and non-formulary. It includes drug monographs, medication restrictions, therapeutic interchange programs, and much more.
Vaughan says the primary benefit is the integration within their EHR, Epic. At the point of care, nurses can access not only the basic formulary drug information but also medication policies and guidelines, Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS), and more. Links directly to Micromedex and other tertiary references are also accessible directly from Formweb.
“Formweb has improved our policy communication across the organization as well as from nurses and clinicians to patients,” Vaughan said. “In a place where time is of the essence, now we can feel confident that nurses and clinicians can quickly locate the drug safety information they need as well as the other critical policy information that affects patient outcomes.”
With Formweb, formulary updates are simple to do and because Formweb is cloud-based and accessible from any computer or mobile device, updated drug and policy information can be circulated to all staff immediately. This nearly eliminates the chance for med error due to a lack of safety information.
While Formweb is not used explicitly for USP <800> compliance at Duke University Hospital, the ability to more easily retrieve the necessary standards information and reports does improve the efficiency of audits by the Joint Commission, state board and accrediting agencies.
Over the more than 10 years as a Formweb user, Duke University Hospital has served as a partner in the ongoing process of improving and fine-tuning the one-stop medication resource platform in an effort to improve patient safety.
Did you know Formweb originated from a personal tragedy suffered by Rpharmy founder Laura Paxton and her husband John? Read about the loss that put them on the path to reducing med errors and improve patient safety.