Pharmacy Awareness Month Profile Series, Part V: Christine Donaldson
Q: How long have you been a pharmacist? Why did you choose hospital pharmacy?
A: I have been a pharmacist for 25 years – proud member of the University of Toronto Pharmacy Class of 9T2.
I chose hospital pharmacy after an eye-opening opportunity to work as a summer student during my second year at Mount Sinai Hospital under the legendary Bill Wilson – after that experience in a major downtown, acute care hospital, I never looked back.
Q: How has the hospital pharmacy landscape changed since you began your career?
A: Automation has changed the role of all professional pharmacy staff. Pharmacists once had to check every unit dose fill and every IV preparation. Now this is in the capable hands of our pharmacy techs or through advanced robotics.
The evolving role of the hospital pharmacy technician to full scope incorporating all technical aspects of dispensing under regulation is also a major shift in our profession that allows for pharmacists to be more connected with patients at the bedside.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you feel pharmacists face in hospital pharmacy today?
A: A big challenge is identifying where to invest their clinical skills wisely – deciphering how to always be true to the goal of spending their time with the most complex patients who can benefit the most from their interventions.
Q: What is the most interesting or exciting prospect you see on the horizon for hospital pharmacy?
A: There is great opportunity to influence best practice guidelines and save costs through system transformation such as collaborative prescribing.
Q: What inspired you to spearhead Pharmacy Services for HealthPRO?
A: The ability to help improve and enhance patient care and the delivery of high quality pharmaceuticals most efficiently while engaging, at a strategic level, with key industry stakeholders and decision makers within government is an opportunity like none other.
I saw the benefits HealthPRO brings to its member hospitals so when my predecessor, Kathy Boyle, retired, I saw a great opportunity to help represent the collective voices of hospital leaders nationwide.