Safety First Blog

The Future of Rpharmy: Building a Legacy of Safety in Healthcare

Posted by Laura Paxton on Jan 31, 2024 10:51:27 AM
Laura Paxton
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To our long-time Rpharmy supporters and new acquaintances alike, we express our heartfelt gratitude for your continued trust and partnership. As our network has grown through recent events, online encounters, and customer referrals, we realize it's time to re-introduce the driving force behind our work. Plus, we have some exciting updates about our team to share with you. Read on! 

When we say we are passionate about patient and healthcare worker safety, it comes from an authentic place. A little more than 20 years ago, our family experienced a personal loss due to a med error, and shortly after, we had the opportunity to protect other families from the terrible pain of this preventable loss. 

Our “Why”
My mother-in-law, the mom of Rpharmy COO and Co-Founder John Paxton, went to her scheduled chemotherapy treatment, and the nurse failed to follow the “The 5 Rights” protocol before dosing her for chemo. If the nurse had verified the “Right Patient, Right Drug, Right Dose, Right Time, Right Route” protocol, she would have discovered that my mother-in-law had not been taken off her Coumadin regimen two days before her scheduled chemotherapy treatment. This was essentially a death sentence. 

John’s mom was admitted to the hospital 24 hours later, and after about three weeks in the hospital, she moved to hospice care, where she stayed until she died on May 14, 2000, just four months after that avoidable med error. 

The pain of her loss was compounded by the fact that it could have been avoided. 

A Tragedy Transforms into Purpose
It was no coincidence that I had the opportunity to join Formulary Productions later that year. Founded in 1990, Formulary Productions originally printed 4x6 hard copies of formularies for healthcare systems. Some of you will remember those days of flipping through the formulary, which was essentially outdated the moment it was printed. It feels like a lifetime ago when you consider how far we’ve come. 

In 1998, one of their customers - The University of Wisconsin - asked to take their formulary online. Over a weekend, Formulary Productions revolutionized formulary by developing the first cloud-based formulary software for the University of Wisconsin. This was the beginning of what is now Rpharmy’s Formweb solution, which provides critical medication information at the point of care. 

Shortly after joining Formulary Productions, I realized that had something like Formweb been available when John’s mom was the victim of a med error, it could have prevented her premature death. I felt a true sense of purpose and direction for my life. 

John joined me at Formulary Productions in 2001, and we bought the company in 2004. We continued to enhance Formweb and provide innovations that improve access to vital drug safety information at the point of care and ultimately prevent med error tragedies. In 2019, we rebranded the company, calling it Rpharmy. 

Formweb is now utilized in healthcare facilities across the U.S., from specialized oncology clinics to massive 30-hospital systems and even prison healthcare facilities. It is a source of pride to see the broad impact Formweb has on patient safety. 

News About the Future of Rpharmy
From the time John and I took over Formulary Productions and it evolved into Rpharmy, it’s been a family business made up of long-term customer and employee relationships. As you may know personally, many of our customers have been with us not only for years but for decades. Some customers have become employees, and others have been with us since the beginning. Basically, when you meet us, you’re stuck with us. 

John and Laura Paxton on a recent getaway to Mexico.
John and I soaked up the tropical vibes over the holidays. 

And now for our exciting update! John and I are pleased to announce that our daughter Caroline McBreen has joined Rpharmy as the Director of Business Development. Not only does Caroline share our dedication to patient and healthcare worker safety, but her wealth of experience in the financial industry will help us generate both safety and economic value for your organization. She’ll also amplify our customer relationship initiatives, ensuring Rpharmy continues to be known for its white-glove customer service. If you haven't met Caroline at an event or meeting yet, you will soon. Keep an eye out for some upcoming blogs written by Caroline, too. 

Caroline McBreen, Rpharmy's Director of Business Development
Caroline McBreen, Rpharmy's Director of Business Development and dog lover. 

Rpharmy couldn’t exist without the dedicated team members who have been with the company for many years, each contributing significantly to our success. Our Chief Technology Officer, Patrick Turner, guides Rpharmy product development primarily based on our customers' needs and requests. Before his work at Rpharmy, he served as CTO at several companies, including Small Footprint, a software development firm he co-owned. We’ve worked alongside Patrick for years and could not steer the Rpharmy ship without his insight and experience in merging software development and customer experience. 

Patrick Turner, Rpharmy CTO and resident voyager
Patrick Turner, Rpharmy CTO and resident voyager


Speaking of customer experience, Sherlene Christen joined the team as our Director of Customer Experience three years ago. However, she’s technically been part of Rpharmy for more than 15 years as a Formweb customer. Sherlene implemented and used Formweb during her more than 30 years at the esteemed Duke Raleigh Hospital, where she assisted in building and implementing the pharmacy module of the Meditech system, supervised pharmacy inventory control, and led the conversion project from Pyxis to Omnicell automated dispensing system. She then managed the Omnicell system, which consisted of automated medication cabinets, anesthesia workstations, controlled substance management, workflowRx, and Pandora analytics reporting. 

If you’ve implemented Formweb or Rhazdrugs, you’ve experienced Sherlene’s unmatched capabilities in condensing vast amounts of complicated information into bite-sized pieces so they can deliver it where it’s needed most—at the point of care. Sherlene also remains current on USP <800> and other regulations, ensuring we provide the support you need to comply. 

Sherlene Christen, Rpharmy's Director of Customer Experience and USP <800> expert
Sherlene Christen, Rpharmy's Director of Customer Experience and USP <800> expert


Daniel Robertson, our Lead Web Developer, makes all the magic happen behind the scenes. Daniel has been with Rpharmy for nearly two decades after Rpharmy alumnus, Lynn Huggins identified him as the best website programmer in the college course she was teaching at the time. Since then, Daniel has been working to ensure Formweb and Rhazdrugs improve safety and work seamlessly with your organization’s workflow. We are in awe of his ability to take a customer request and turn that into a new feature within the products. This is no small feat, but it has become a valued customer service offering. Daniel is also knee-deep in a UX (user experience) project aimed at improving the usability of both Rhazdrugs and Formweb. More good news to come on that project soon!! 

Daniel Robertson, Rpharmy's Lead Web Developer and Star Wars enthusiast
Daniel Robertson, Rpharmy's Lead Web Developer and Star Wars enthusiast

As I said before, our customers are also essential members of the Rpharmy family. Thank you for trusting us to protect your patients and healthcare workers! Drop a note here or on social media to welcome Caroline and say “Hi!” to the other exceptional members of our team. 

If you’re still working towards USP <800> compliance, our Safety First Blog is full of free resources. Our USP <800> webinar series recordings are also available and provide 30-minute sessions focused on specific USP <800> challenges. 

Topics: Rhazdrugs, Policy, USP <800>, Formweb

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