Linda Awdishu, PharmD, MAS, an Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacy at UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and spring 2007 MAS grad in Clinical Research, was awarded the Barbara and Paul Saltman Distinguished Teaching award in June 2015. The Distinguished Teaching Award was created because UC San Diego faculty recognize the important role excellent teaching plays at the University. This Award is a tangible expression of UC San Diego’s commitment to excellence in teaching and to ensuring that this commitment is maintained. The Committee on Distinguished Teaching seeks to select those who exhibit creativity, innovative teaching methods, the ability to motivate students to actively seek out knowledge, and an extraordinary level of teaching commitment.
In addition, Linda and her team won a 2014 national pharmacy award – ASHP Foundation National Award for Excellence in Medication Safety:
UC San Diego Health System
San Diego, CA
EHR “Best Practice Alerts” Improve Medication Safety in Kidney Patients
Patients with acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease are at risk for frequent adverse medical events due to improper medication dosing. An interprofessional pharmacist-led team comprised of specialists in pharmacy and medical informatics from the health system and the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences sought to design and implement a computerized decision support tool to improve the rate of appropriate medication prescriptions in patients with kidney impairment. The tool was designed to evaluate new medication orders as well as existing medication orders in patients with declining kidney function.
The UC San Diego team used the “Best Practice Alert” function in their electronic health record software to create the decision support tool. Twenty medications that require dosage adjustment for patients with kidney dysfunction were identified. Physicians at UC San Diego were randomized to receive either standard of care (pharmacist review after order signing) or alerts in addition to standard of care. A total of 4,113 opportunities for potential drug dosage adjustment or discontinuation occurred in 1,649 unique patients. The primary outcome—drug discontinuation or appropriate dosage adjustment—occurred in 17 percent vs. 5.6 percent of opportunities in the intervention and control arm, respectively (OR 2.66 [95%CI 2.00-3.53], p<0.0001). The effect of the intervention was sustained over time.