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Monday, May 5, 2014

100: Introduction to EMPOWER

Pharmacists exist in somewhat of a gray area in terms of the care of emergency department patients. In no other environment are pharmacists generally absent in the medication use process as in emergency departments. Yet, the very nature of the atmosphere of emergency medicine can produce significant and unnoticed medication errors. As pharmacists practicing in the emergency department, we tend to have a different point of view from other clinicians on the team. While the exact definition of what an emergency medicine pharmacist is unclear, it is something we have been striving to define. Our training and druggist minds lead us to focus on medications and be analytical with regards to the reasoning and methods behind why we do the things we do. Because we can afford to do so, we can even challenge some of the myths and misconceptions related to the use of medications in general, and specifically those commonly utilized in the emergency department.

It has been a little over a year and a half since we first started this blog. We sought to fill in a gap within the great emergency medicine blogs in existence when we started this project of sorts back in September 2012. Sure, some blogs did (and still do) cover some aspects related to pharmacy in emergency medicine, but generally not from the perspectives of pharmacists. And so, with this, in sharing our experiences and describing patient scenarios that we come across in our day-to-day practice, we hoped to really be able to offer our readers an understanding of our role in the emergency department, and allow for an exchange of ideas between our readers and us writers.

As writing goes, you always hear that in order to become a better writer, write more. Starting this blog, we hoped to be able to improve our own writing, and thought the process grew as critical (even skeptical) reviewers of the latest and greatest in emergency medicine. Ultimately, it has, and continued to, help strengthen our own clinical practice, which is something that we hold very valuable and wish to continue to maintain over the course of our practice.

Believe it or not, this is our 100th post. For something that began as an experiment all the way up until this point, it has been an amazing ride. Making connections with our readers virtually first via Twitter and through #FOAMed that are followed up with live meetings in person has been probably one of our best experiences yet. It has been awesome realizing that we are not the only ones who believe that this endeavor is worthy of scholarly merit. Granted, we are not doing this for that purpose at all, and we believe it would really put a dent for either one of us pursuing this any further if we were told by our department chairs that we needed to write on this blog once every two weeks. At the same time, it is hard to deny the the fact that others within the #FOAMed community have really come a long way in utilizing this form of social media to advance their professional and career development. To us, that is just an added virtue to this endeavor, but again, that was not our intent in the first place. Hopepfully, our efforts will transform the #FOAMed movement in pharmacy from the immovable object to the unstoppable force.

With all of this, we began to think about where we wanted to go next with the blog. How can we really put a voice out there for emergency medicine pharmacists? How can we allow others to gain a better understanding and appreciation for the role of pharmacists in the emergency department?

And so we provide you with a sneak peek at our next undertaking in the world of #FOAMed. Ladies and gentlemen, we would like to introduce to you our newest project: EMPOWER.


Please be sure to spread the word. We hope to continue to expand on the theme of this blog in covering topics related to the practice of pharmacy within emergency medicine, and we plan on bringing on special guests and fellow EM pharmacists to help make this podcast all the better. Our goal is to really help enhance the voice of pharmacy within emergency medicine.

To those of you who directly encouraged us to pursue this podcast as our next project, thank you for giving us that extra push. We sure did need it.

As always, we welcome questions, comments, and suggestions related to our blog and podcast. Please feel free to send us a message or a comment, or even tweet a question to either one of us. Thank you for loyally following this blog, and for all of your support.

Nadia Awad, Pharm.D., BCPS, and Craig Cocchio, Pharm.D., BCPS
The Blog Team of Emergency Medicine PharmD

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