Creation and implementation of a pharmacy-led meds-to-beds program at a large teaching hospital

Published:November 24, 2021DOI:



      “Meds-to-beds” programs are a quality improvement intervention that is gaining wider implementation throughout the United States. The University of Oklahoma hospital system did not have this program and sought to implement one. There are sufficient data on the benefits of meds-to-beds programs, but there is a lack of literature on describing the development and implementation process.


      The objective of this article is to describe the planning process, implementation, and barriers encountered during the organization of a pharmacy-led meds-to-beds program operating within 2 large teaching hospitals.

      Practice Description

      The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center campus has 7 colleges, multiple primary care and specialty clinics, and 2 hospitals. In addition, there are 3 on-campus outpatient pharmacies operated by the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy (OUCOP).

      Practice Innovation

      The college implemented a meds-to-beds program primarily serving 2 on-campus hospitals, The Oklahoma Children’s Hospital and University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy Medical Center. The program operated out of The Children’s Pharmacy, an outpatient pharmacy located within the Children’s Hospital.

      Evaluation Methods

      A Plan-Do-Study-Act model was used, which allowed for adaptation in response to barriers encountered throughout the process. Frequent meetings among stakeholders were held to continuously evaluate progress (e.g., awareness and utilization of the program and prescription counts) and make necessary changes.


      Implementation of the program required changes in workflow both within the pharmacy and within the registration and discharge processes of medical teams. In addition, after the initiation of the meds-to-beds program, the daily prescription count more than doubled. The program averages 40 deliveries per day and 3 prescriptions per delivery and continues to grow, providing evidence of a successful meds-to-beds implementation.


      The Plan-Do-Study-Act model allowed for many adjustments to be made throughout the process, including the conversion from an opt-in to an opt-out model to increase program utilization.
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      Victoria Jones, PharmD, Post-graduate student, College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK


      Taylor Zelnicek, PharmD, PGY1 General Practice Resident, College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK


      Michael T. Hines, MBA, Pharmacy Operations Business Manager, College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK


      Eric J. Johnson, CPA, CIA, MBA, MIS-MIS, Senior Associate Dean for Administration and Finance, College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK


      Katherine S. O’Neal, PharmD, MBA, BCACP, CDCES, BC-ADM, AE-C, CLS, FADCES, Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK


      JoLaine R. Draugalis, BSPharm, PhD, FAPhA, FASHP, Dean and David Ross Boyd Professor; Phil C. and Fern Ashby Endowed Dean’s Chair; Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor; and Regent’s Professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK