Improving the Quality and Safety of Care at BWH and Beyond

Bill Churchill watches the IntelliFill robot sort syringes – one of the many innovations implemented in the Pharmacy under his leadership.

I’ve been at the Brigham for nearly 43 years, starting as an intern at the Boston Hospital for Women. My three proudest accomplishments with the incredible Pharmacy team reflect our deep commitment to improving patient safety through innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Our pioneering work has made care safer for patients at BWH and around the world. 

  1. The introduction of clinical pharmacists to patient care areas. Previously, pharmacists worked primarily in the pharmacy. I made it my goal for pharmacists to be available to physicians, nurses, patients and families on the units, and many people have told me how much this change advanced the care of our patients.
  2. The advent of electronic medication administration record (eMAR) and barcode verification systems. We were the first hospital in the world to implement two-dimensional barcode scanning, which changed the way we dispensed and administered medications. Because of our pioneering work, we made care safer for patients worldwide.
  3. The transition to computerized physician order-entry (CPOE). Previously, we used paper records, charts, orders and medication profiles. CPOE, which allows us to electronically enter medication orders and physician instructions, was a major change in how patients were cared for, starting in the early 1990s. Many hospitals around the country implemented CPOE at that time, but it was a complex transition. We were one of the few hospitals that did it successfully.

Bill Churchill, MS, RPh, FMSHP, Chief Pharmacy Officer

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