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September 10, 2013

Bassett pharmacist wins national honor for patient safety

By Denise Richardson Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — A pharmacist at Bassett Medical Center has received national recognition for her work improving and saving lives by preventing adverse drug events, officials said.

Kelly Rudd, clinical pharmacology service coordinator and an anticoagulation clinical specialist at the center’s anticoagulation clinic, has been awarded the PSPC 5.0 Life-Saving Patient Safety Award.

This national recognition comes from the Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative, a program to improve the quality of health care across the country by integrating evidence-based clinical pharmacy services into the care and management of high-risk, complex patients.

The collaborative is sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Rudd was recognized for establishing a system of best practices that detect, identify and prevent adverse drug events. Among her many accomplishments has been work with information technology specialists to amend the hospital electronic health record system to improve the detection of dangerous drug interactions, a media release from Bassett said. Rudd also worked with her counterparts at the national level, which led to a similar update of the national dispensing system.

Rudd and her team have saved numerous lives and improved outcomes for many others through detecting and preventing adverse drug events, Bassett officials said. But this most-recent award lauds Rudd for her system of detecting subtle signals of serious life-threatening drug interactions and applying remedies to ameliorate information gaps that can cause patient harm, the release said.

Anticoagulation therapy is designed to prevent life-threatening strokes and heart attacks, as well as treat and prevent damaging or fatal blood clots, Bassett officials said.

Rudd, who grew up and lives in Jordanville, attended Albany College of Pharmacy and earned a Doctor of Pharmacy, or Pharm.D., degree and did a residency at the University of Iowa. Rudd said she joined Bassett about eight years ago and is happy to have been able to return to her hometown to serve patients in the community.

IPRO, a national quality improvement organization, was familiar with the Bassett clinic’s work and nominated her for the award, Rudd said.

Rudd said she appreciated the compliments and recognition for the accomplishments, which she hinted is all in a day’s work.

“For me, you get to work and do your job,” Rudd said. In 2010, Rudd was named Researcher of the Year by the New York State Chapter of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. 

Rudd’s supervisor, J.B. Goss, who has a Ph.D. in pharmacy, said there has been “ all kinds of work done at Bassett” inspired by her work. He described Rudd as “the Arnold Palmer” of her field.

“Kelly is a national commodity _ she is well-known in her field,” said Goss, director of pharmaceutical care services at Bassett Medical Center.

Bassett is a smaller medical center that is beginning to offer intensive pharmaceutical therapies typically available at larger institutions, such as Johns Hopkins Medicine and they Mayo Clinic Health System, Goss said.

Bassett’s anticoagulation therapies are offered at clinics in Cooperstown and more-recently at a second site at the FoxCare Center in Oneonta, they said.

“We’re growing the program,” Rudd said.