A Minute with a Pharmacist: Barbara Giacomelli

Barbara Giacomelli previews what's on the horizon for hospital pharmacists.

By: McKesson Health Systems Editorial Team

Read time: 2 minutes

Barbara Giacomelli, VP, Advisory Services, adds her perspective as part of our “A Minute with a Pharmacist” series. She shares what’s next for hospital pharmacists and sheds light on trends to watch for in the future.

1. What is one of the biggest challenges members of the pharmacy team face today?

COVID-19 continues to challenge health care organizations. For pharmacies, the challenges relate to predicting patient medication needs. Specifically, supporting COVID-19 vaccination and getting ready to offer a booster vaccine is an expanding role for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

2. How will the role of a hospital pharmacist be different five years from now?

I believe the role of the pharmacy in clinical patient management will expand not just as a part of the patient care team, but as providers. Pharmacists may prescribe, distribute and administer drug therapy. There is a shortage of nurses and physicians and pharmacists with their education and training are helping to fill the void. As the role of the pharmacist grows, there are expanded areas of responsibility for the pharmacy technician with drug dispensing and vaccine administration.

3. Are there other hospital pharmacy trends to watch out for?

Other trends include expansion of post-acute care such as hospital in the home, home care, specialized clinics, retail and specialty pharmacy. With the increase in specialty medications and care settings outside of the hospital, pharmacies play an important role in making sure patients receive their medication and they are critical to ensuring appropriate reimbursement to maintain financial viability.

4. This month is about thanking you and fellow pharmacists for all they do beyond the coat. What would you like to say to encourage, motivate or thank others in the field this October?

The past 18+ months have been tough professionally and personally as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians meet patient care needs while taking care of their families and themselves. Never forget how important you are to the vitality of healthcare and serving your patients and communities.