Texas Children’s Specialty Pharmacy has successfully completed two rigorous re-accreditation processes, again demonstrating its high level of excellence in caring for its patients.
Accreditation is proof that a health organization has met stringent criteria established by an outside accrediting agency, and is considered a reliable indicator of overall quality.
Since its founding in 2017, Specialty Pharmacy has been accredited by two leading national agencies: the Accreditation Commission for Health Care, and the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission. Both agencies require specialty pharmacies to show compliance with a wide range of regulations and best practices in several key areas, such as patient services, pharmacy dispensing, logistics, administration and risk management.
The accreditation process typically takes several months, during which the pharmacy team reviews and submits hundreds of documents and undergoes thorough interviews. Once accredited, a pharmacy can obtain and dispense certain medications that only specialty pharmacies are allowed to distribute.
“Going through the ACHC and URAC re-accreditation processes was even more challenging than obtaining the original accreditations,” said Josephine Hurtado, Specialty Pharmacy director. “We had to show our compliance with a new set of rigorous core standards for URAC 4.0, including protocols and documentation specific to therapy or therapeutic class. The team also had to establish a number of new processes and demonstrate the expected high-quality standards throughout the patient journey, from our clinical pharmacists to our call center and dispensing areas.”
Specialty Pharmacy provides medications for complex or chronic medical conditions that are often unavailable at neighborhood pharmacies, and works directly with a patient’s medical team to ensure coordinated care. The pharmacy currently serves 15 clinics, as well as Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.
In 2020, Specialty Pharmacy moved into the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, allowing it to adopt new, state-of-the-art technology to further improve efficiency and patient safety.
“I’m very proud of this tremendous effort by the Specialty Pharmacy team, which will allow us to continue to provide great care to our patients and seek additional Limited Distribution Drugs opportunities and payor contracts,” Hurtado said. “I want to give special thanks to the following teams for their time and partnership – Willow, IS Security, Compliance and Privacy, Legal, Human Resources, Quality and Outcomes, and Spiritual Care. It was truly a one amazing team effort.”