SPHS 12 27 17 Sagar

Sagar Bhakta, PharmD ’18, Presents Poster at ASHP Midyear Meeting

Sagar Bhakta, PharmD ’18, chose to attend the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences after researching the success of the Claremont Colleges and learning about the possible career pathways.

The networking and experiential education opportunities have helped set up Bhakta for future success in the field of pharmacy. In early December, Bhakta attended the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting in Orlando, FL, to present a poster.

The presentation was titled “Emergency Department Medication History/Reconciliation: Implementation, Application, and Usefulness,” and he completed the project during his Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences rotation at Anaheim Regional Medical Center (ARMC).

“It was a great opportunity to present at the ASHP conference,” Bhakta says. “I was able to meet other presenters and discuss our posters. Presenting this poster helped develop my public speaking skills because I needed to be ready at all times, considering that anyone could stop by and ask questions.”

According to the abstract of Bhakta’s research, the hospital emergency department can be the leading cause of medication errors if a proper medication history is not obtained. At ARMC, Bhakta noted that nurses are in charge of obtaining a home medication history; however, other obligations may take precedence. This can lead to mistakes in medication reconciliation and errors in patient care.

To resolve this issue, Bhakta implemented a workflow redesign by collecting the home medication list and noting barriers during the process. He conducted a preliminary analysis of the data to show aspects such as collection times, peak hours of admissions, and barriers related to the collection. The collection process can be time consuming, but can be expedited with accuracy by a pharmacist, because they are the medication experts.

The wide-ranging curriculum and industry connections at KGI have helped to open doors for Bhakta as he prepares to earn his degree in May 2018. After growing up in the small town of Sparta, TN, Bhakta earned a dual bachelor’s degree in chemistry and microbiology at East Tennessee State University and then entered a Master of Science program in chemistry at Tennessee Tech University.

While at KGI, Bhakta has completed pharmacy rotations at places like Mt. San Antonio Gardens, Prime Healthcare, Shire, AHMC Healthcare, Sharp Healthcare, and Pfizer.

“Pharmacy is an exciting field due to the fact that there are many different avenues one can take, whether it be clinical, community, pharma, or research, just to name a few,” Bhakta says. “You are able to see what you like the most and choose a fulfilling career.”