SILCC Fellow profile: Väinö Vähämäki


Sunday, May 5, 2019 - 11:15

How was your experience as SILCC Fellow? Would you recommend this to other colleagues?

I found SILCC fellowship very valuable in developing hospital pharmacy in Finland and in our organization. The experience overall was very pleasant and all the staff in Antrim area Hospital very very friendly and always ready to tell about their work and hear about the state of hospital pharmacy in Finland. I wish to thank Mr. Linden Ashfield, Professor Michael Schott and EAHP for this opportunity to visit Antrim area Hospital for SILCC visit. If you are looking forward to developing clinical pharmacy services in your country I would definitely recommend visiting Antrim area Hospital since they have long term knowledge on how to start clinical pharmacy services and what kind of parameters you need to collect to show what us hospital pharmacists can do.

Are there any highlights from the training you received from the Antrim area Hospital?

There were certainly quite many highlights during my visit but probably one of the most important was collecting the right parameters on benefits of clinical pharmacy services straight from the beginning of the services. Also it is very important to have pharmacists on influential posts on national level to promote the cause of improving patient care by increasing the level of pharmaceutical care. I also learned that medication safety requires nationwide guidance to give input for all the hospitals in the country because it demands plenty of expertise and working force to get best practices in medication process implemented. In this regard I think that the role of the hospitals and hospital pharmacists should be that of implementing those best practices rather than inventing all of them by themselves. These are definitely some things that require improving in Finland.

Do you have any plans to work on implementing some what you have learned when coming back to your hospitals?

It has now been only a few weeks since I visited Antrim area Hospital and at this point the plans on implementing are on progress. However, I plan to promote the EAHP Statements in both my hospital and nationwide among hospital pharmacists and other professions. In our hospital we plan to start collecting more appropriate data on what benefits clinical pharmacy services can provide for wards but also most of all for patient care. It is of great importance that relevant stakeholders know what clinical pharmacy can provide for patient care. This is, I believe, one of the most important things to get right while expanding clinical pharmacy services.

Any words for colleauges thinking about applying to the SILCC programme?

If you are struggling with developing hospital pharmacy and you have mapped what sections of your pharmacy services are in most need of improving, the SILCC programme may be the resolution. I would recommend applying for the SILCC fellowship since it gives you new thrive and a lot of new ideas and certainly another perspective on hospital pharmacy services. You could always contact other hospital pharmacies in Europe by email or by phone but it is not the same as meeting with colleagues and making network. It is always easier to ask and contact colleagues if you have met with them before.