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Profile of a Pharmacy Innovator: Dr. Michael Daly, The Data-Driven Pharmacist 

Dr. Michael Daly serves as both an informatics pharmacist at The Iowa Clinic and an Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences at Drake University. He consistently serves as an innovative pharmacy practitioner dedicated to finding data-driven, cost savings solutions in both positions while also sharing his expertise with APPE students as a preceptor. In an interview with the DELTA Rx Institute, he shares what led him to his dream job, what his day-to-day activities in his professional roles includes, advice for current pharmacy students and practitioners, and why innovation in healthcare is necessary now more than ever.

Dr. Daly grew up and went to pharmacy school in Omaha, NE. After graduating in 2005, he interviewed for a PGY1 residency with Dr. Geoff Wall, a Drake University Professor of Pharmacy Practice. Although Dr. Daly’s path led him to live and work in St. Louis for 12 years after his graduation, his Drake experience came full circle in 2017 when Dr. Wall picked him up from the airport in Des Moines for a faculty position interview at Drake . Now, he practices in his dream job to find cost-effective, quality healthcare solutions.

 As far as his day-to-day schedule goes, Dr. Daly shares, “much of the time is spent evaluating large medication-related data sets and then developing and communicating concise analysis and recommendations about the data.” His APPE offers a unique opportunity to students to evaluate patient data and identify cost savings opportunities, and then subsequently working with physicians and patients to translate them into practice. Performing and implementing these strategies includes analyzing data from a variety of sources, using clinical judgement when evaluating medication profiles, and communicating professionally and persuasively to the greater healthcare team. The cost savings that has resulted from Daly and his APPE students performing these activities at The Iowa Clinic has been outstanding with a whopping $1.5 million in medication-related cost savings tracked in the first three years of his service! Furthermore, as a result of this partnership, The Iowa Clinic has awarded Drake University with $150,000 in ACO-related shared savings.

 When asked what advice he would give to current pharmacy students and practitioners, Dr. Daly says, “Pharmacy is a small world, and you will cross paths with people in your career more than once, such as my example involving Dr. Geoff Wall. Along those same lines, show up to your rotation or job every day as if you are interviewing or auditioning for your next job. Opportunities will often present themselves when you are not necessarily expecting them, and you want your preceptors, co-workers, and managers to be able to speak to your positive qualities and attitudes. My last piece of advice is not to fear change, but rather expect it, especially in the delivery of healthcare, and look for opportunities to be a leader among your peers in embracing and piloting change.”

 In a rapidly changing world and the challenges that are present in healthcare today, Dr. Daly believes that entrepreneurship and innovation are essential to healthcare now more than ever. “The needs of patients and health care’s ability to meet those needs are continually evolving. The coronavirus pandemic highlights this point, as those organizations and healthcare systems that pivoted quickly to telehealth and virtual visits met their patients' needs faster and provided a higher level of care than those that struggled to implement it.”

 The DELTA Rx Institute thanks Dr. Daly for being a part of the innovator spotlight series. We wish him the best as he continually serves as an innovative pharmacy leader at Drake and The Iowa Clinic. The cost-savings that he and his team find will surely continue to make an impact on healthcare cost-savings while providing high-quality patient care.