Marian James, PharmD, BCPS, CGP, FASCP, from Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center (KJMC) in Brooklyn, New York, has been named the recipient of this year’s Herb Langsam Pharmacy Provider Services Award from the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) Foundation. As the clinical pharmacist at Rutland Nursing Home, she has been recognized as an outstanding provider of innovative solutions and improvements in quality. With her team, Dr. James led the development of a performance improvement project to reduce the use of antipsychotic medication in the nursing home through weekly psychopharmacology rounds.
Dr. James is currently the clinical pharmacy specialist in geriatrics at KJMC. She received her PharmD at Saint John’s University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She completed a PGY-1 residency at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center and PGY-2 Residency in Geriatrics at KJMC. Dr. James is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist, Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, and a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. She currently oversees the management of pharmacotherapy of patients at Rutland Nursing Home. There she has helped in the implementation and continued practice of the expanded role of pharmacist in the nursing home.
With the 2012 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement of the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, the team at Rutland Nursing Home, a 466 bed nursing home located on the campus of KJMC, strove to meet the goal of reducing the use of antipsychotic medications in long-stay nursing home residents. The team, which included the clinical pharmacist, pharmacy resident, medical director, director of nursing, nurse managers, recreational therapists, social workers, and the nursing home vice president, held weekly meetings to discuss residents’ current psychopharmacotherapy. In addition to reducing overall antipsychotic use (the nursing home recorded an 16.5% relative reduction in use over a 6-month period), the meetings led to a cultural change in the facility. Staff now looks for possible underlying causes of a new behavior or institute non-pharmacologic measures to ameliorate a behavior prior to implementing an antipsychotic or other psychopharmacologic medication.
Dr. James emphasizes the importance of the interdisciplinary team’s role in reduction of antipsychotic use. “The interdisciplinary nature of this project created a diffusion of responsibilities, engagement, and appreciation among all the disciplines that ensures its sustainability.”