linked in pixel

Ochsner Health Pharmacy Nationally Recognized for Excellence in Innovation by Vizient

Ochsner Health Pharmacy Nationally Recognized for Excellence in Innovation by Vizient

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Ochsner Health is proud to receive a 2023 Vizient Pharmacy Vision Award. Ochsner is recognized for Excellence in Innovation, which honors teams who have implemented novel approaches to complex patient care in conjunction with other departments. The Ochsner team, represented by Lisa Boothby and Kellee Brown, was recently recognized at the Vision Awards Reception hosted by Vizient in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Vizient Pharmacy Vision Awards honor members of its pharmacy program for accomplishments and contributions to pharmacy practice amid some of the most challenging times in healthcare. As healthcare continues to change to meet the needs of patients, pharmacists’ relevance and significant contributions are becoming more notable. Through the Pharmacy Vision Awards, Vizient celebrates the excellent work of pharmacy teams in response to this everchanging environment.

Ochsner received the Excellence in Innovation award for its Inpatient Interdisciplinary Care Teams – Integration of Medication Administration Pharmacists program. This program was designed and implemented as a direct response to the nursing shortage impacting Ochsner and many other health systems nationwide. To combat the nursing shortage while minimizing contract labor expenses, medication administration pharmacists were deployed at two hospitals within the health system.

“Pharmacists have been integral to the patient care interdisciplinary team in acute care settings for years,” said Deborah Simonson, vice president and chief pharmacy officer, Ochsner Health. “Through this program, the medication administration pharmacists focus on medication administration and education, discharge planning, medication counseling and reconciliation, all of which are tasks routinely performed by nurses.”

This unique approach to staffing challenges has proven successful on many fronts. Within the program, pharmacists administered 99% of medications for assigned patients and late medication administration decreased from 15% to less than 3% with no medication errors. Additionally, patient satisfaction scores showed a 37% increase in patients understanding side effects of medications and a 44% increase in patients understanding the purpose of their new medications. Nurses demonstrated overwhelming support, with all recently surveyed nurses requesting pharmacist assistance moving forward.

“This partnership between nursing and pharmacy is the kind of innovative design thinking we need to respond to our current staffing challenges,” said Tracey Moffatt, executive consultant and former system chief nursing officer and system vice president of quality, Ochsner Health. “Our patients and our teams are more productive and engaged when they work together to optimize the skills and expertise each bring to the table. I’m so proud of this this team-based care delivery model and the staff who worked hard to operationalize and optimize the program for the benefit of our patients and our organization.”

By creating innovative staffing models that leverage the strengths of different members of the interdisciplinary care team, enhanced patient care with decreased reliance on contract labor is a reality for 2023 and beyond. Ochsner is paving the way forward in addressing challenging healthcare issues.

About Ochsner Health

Ochsner Health is the leading not-for-profit healthcare provider in the Gulf South, delivering expert care at its 46 hospitals and more than 370 health and urgent care centers. For 12 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has recognized Ochsner as the No. 1 hospital in Louisiana. Additionally, Ochsner Children’s has been recognized as the No. 1 hospital for kids in Louisiana for three consecutive years. Ochsner inspires healthier lives and stronger communities through a combination of standard-setting expertise, quality and connection not found anywhere else in the region. In 2023, Ochsner Health cared for more than 1.5 million people from every state in the nation and 65 countries. Ochsner’s workforce includes more than 38,000 dedicated team members and over 4,700 employed and affiliated physicians. To learn more about how Ochsner empowers people to get well and stay well, visit