Lessons learned from the creation of a multihospital health-system formulary management and pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committee are described.Summary
A health system can create and implement a multihospital system formulary and P&T committee to provide evidence-based medications for ideal healthcare. The formulary and P&T process should be multidisciplinary and include adequate representation from system hospitals. The aim of a system formulary and P&T committee is standardization; however, the system should allow flexibility for differences. Key points for a successful multihospital system formulary and P&T committee are patience, collaboration, resilience, and communication. When establishing a multihospital health-system formulary and P&T committee, the needs of individual hospitals are crucial. A designated member of the pharmacy department needs to centrally coordinate and manage formulary requests, medication reviews and monographs, meeting agendas and minutes, and a summary of decisions for implementation. It is imperative to create a timeline for formulary reviews to set expectations, as well as a process for formulary appeals. Collaboration across the various hospitals is critical for successful formulary standardization. When implementing a health-system P&T committee or standardizing a formulary system, it is important to be patient and give local sites time to make practice changes. Evidence-based data and rationale must be provided to all sites to support formulary changes. Finally, there must be multidisciplinary collaboration.Conclusion
There are several options for formulary structures and P&T committees in a health system. Potential strengths and barriers should be evaluated before selecting a formulary management process.