A Minute with a Pharmacist: Margaret Ryman

Margaret Ryman sheds light on some of the biggest challenges pharmacy teams face.

By: McKesson Health Systems Editorial Team

Read time: 2 minutes

Margaret Ryman, VP, Health Systems, is the second featured leader in our “A Minute with a Pharmacist” series. In our conversation, Margaret reflects on the past year and discusses some of the biggest challenges facing pharmacy teams.

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

Pharmacists’ responsibilities continue to expand, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists took on new roles and responsibilities. Pharmacists have played a vital role in rational and evidence-based application of COVID-related drug therapy. They have played a crucial role in mitigating the drug-related challenges, administering COVID-19 vaccines, and they got involved in areas in healthcare where they historically have not been. Pharmacists and health care professionals, in general, have had think outside the box, stimulating innovation and creativity. COVID-19 has further demonstrated how critical the pharmacist is in direct patient care, and with that comes the need to leverage tools and resources to streamline administrative work and elevate the role of the pharmacy technician so pharmacists can focus on patient care and further expand the role of the provider.

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

As the responsibilities of pharmacists will continue to expand, the key will be leveraging tools to streamline administrative work so they can focus on patient care. While great strides were made in 2020 in the adoption of health information technology, this will need to be a continued focus going forward.

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

The overall increasing complexity of our health systems has rapidly accelerated over the last few years (e.g. increase in specialty pharmacy and uncertainty in 340B program), and health systems will need new ways to approach budgetary and financial constraints such as new innovative ways to generate revenue as hospitals recover financially from the pandemic.

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?

I’m thankful for healthcare colleagues (including those on the frontline and behind the scenes) as the additional responsibilities from COVID-19 have put a strain on healthcare resources and professionals. The pandemic response across McKesson has been phenomenal, truly a patient first focus. My advice is to focus on what you can impact everyday such as communication, collaboration and consultation.