And so it begins, the ASHP Summer Meeting 2011 (#ashpsm)

As you read this the ASHP Summer Meeting is taking place in Denver, Colorado. While the ceremonial start isn’t until after the Opening Session and Keynote tomorrow (Monday, June 13) things have been in full swing since Saturday.

Continue reading And so it begins, the ASHP Summer Meeting 2011 (#ashpsm)

The ever expanding role of pharmacists

Lately I’ve found myself thinking about how pharmacists are involved in healthcare. Despite popular belief pharmacists do more than simply work in the pharmacy.

Throughout my career I’ve become accustomed to people viewing pharmacists as the stereotypically person behind the counter at the drug store “counting pills”. While that’s not all pharmacists do, I’ve learned to live with the general publics simplistic view. I don’t think most people realize that pharmacists are involved in every aspect of a patient’s care. If you’ve ever been in a hospital, received a prescription medication, had a loved one in a long term care facility, received intravenous medications at home like total parenteral nutrition (TPN) or antibiotics, received an albumin or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusion in an outpatient infusion center or met with a pharmacist in a clinic setting for a medication therapy management (MTM) session, then you’ve been touched by a pharmacist.
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Another opportunity for pharmacist$

Reuters: “During the current study, 21 percent of the 1506 participants said they had previously not taken medications because of money concerns. Another 5 percent said they were worried they might not be able to pay for drugs.

The researchers, who published their results in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine, considered both groups to be “at risk” of nonadherence with future prescriptions.

Looking at the responses to other questions on the survey, Rhodes and her team found that people were more likely to be at risk of nonadherence if they had money issues – for instance, they worried about money, didn’t have enough food, reported housing problems, and had inadequate health insurance. But they were also more likely to be at risk of nonadherence if they smoked, used illegal drugs, or experienced domestic violence, as either the victim or perpetrator.”
Continue reading Another opportunity for pharmacist$

Hey, don’t forget about the technology in the central pharmacy

The February 1, 2011 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (AJHP) has an interesting article on page 202 in a section called Management Consultation. The article is titled “Redesigning the workflow of central pharmacy operations”1. I’d like to have everyone read this article, but unfortunately access requires a ASHP membership or an AHJP subscription.

The article discusses the process involved in redesigning the workflow within an acute care central pharmacy, but fails to mention the use of technology.

So let’s break it down a bit, shall we?
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Death of intellectual curiosity, due diligence and our profession

Over the weekend I read a tweet from a friend and colleague @kevinclauson. The tweet shared a link to an article titled “Young Adults’ Credibility Assessment of Wikipedia”. I don’t have a problem with the article. On the contrary, it just reinforces my dislike of Wikipedia as a healthcare reference source.

From the abstract: “This paper found that a few students demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the Wikipedia editing process, while most had some understanding of how the site functions and a few lacked even such basic knowledge as the fact that anyone can edit the site. Although many study participants had been advised by their instructors not to cite Wikipedia articles in their schoolwork, students nonetheless often use it in their everyday lives.” Kevin also links to the pre-print version of the article here (PDF).
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The next big thing in pharmacy informatics? Hint: IDK

RxInformatics: “The following was a list serv question from Monica Puebla, PharmD, MBA, BCPS for a HIS course. Here is my response to the Question. I would add State Boards of Pharmacy to the list of those to present this as well.

“If you were given the opportunity to present to your DOP, VP and CFO a project that you deem would have the greatest impact on the pharmacy department as well as the health-system in general from any point of view, clinical, financial, operational, without regards to costs, what would it be?””

John’s response was to “Study under what circumstances pharmacist order review (perfection) could be taken over by automated clinical decision support while increasing quality and safety” in addition to including a nice list of references related to ‘perfection’ (listed at the bottom of this post). I highly recommend looking at the references John provides because they’re informative and enlightening. You can also read more about the ‘perfection’ idea at one of John’s older posts here. It’s amazing that this discussion has been going on for well over a year and to the best of my knowledge has yet to make much headway.
Continue reading The next big thing in pharmacy informatics? Hint: IDK

UA College of Pharmacy professor promotes pharmacists in direct patient care

I received my normal ASHP NewsLink via email today and found this interesting little tid-bit: “Public Television Station Features Research on Value of Pharmacists - Watch pharmacist researcher Marie Chisholm-Burns on Arizona Public Television discussing ASHP Foundation-funded research about the value of pharmacists.”

Dr. Chisholm-Burns spends a little time on Arizona Public Media discussing some of the research she’s done using pharmacists in direct patient care. It’s really good stuff. The video can be found at the Arizona Public Media website.  The AJHP article that Dr. Chisholm-Burns refers to in the video can be found here.

Pharmacy goals, a reality check and insanity – what the heck are we doing?

I’ve been conversing with several pharmacists about the future of pharmacy practice, specifically about the PPMI developed earlier this year by ASHP. This is a sharp group of people, but what I continually hear is the same thing I’ve heard for a number of years. While I’m not as experienced as many of my esteemed colleagues due to a late start to my career, I have worked in several acute care facilities. I’m not sure who said it, but Einstein gets credit for defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The literature presented in support of a new practice model is, in reality, based on current practice. It’s all looking at how best to apply the pharmacist’s current knowledge and resources to the current practice model. Economic outcomes improved by a pharmacist; great, but not new. Improved patient outcomes with a pharmacist in a team approach; awesome, but not new. Use a pharmacist as a prescriber; cool idea, but not new. These models are easily ten years old and we’re still talking about them as if they were new ideas. See a trend here? I think this is exactly what Einstein had in mind when he defined insanity.
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Pharmacy is missing social interaction, face time and comradery

Being a pharmacist is my first career, but one of many jobs over my lifetime. I was a little late to the party as I spent some time doing other things before jetting off to pharmacy school. One of the things I enjoyed about pharmacy school was the comradery that quickly developed between the students. There were several of us that spent time together learning, studying and becoming better. Our collective minds were simply better than any of us on our own.
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Thoughts on the #PPMI Twitterchat

ASHP and the ASHP Foundation have undertaken an initiative to change the way pharmacists practice pharmacy. And that initiative is called The Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI); go figure. It’s quite an aggressive goal and one that I hope results in some great ideas on how to get pharmacists to the bedside where they have been shown to improve patient care and save hospitals money. Of course I’m banking on judicious use of technology to help lead the way, but that’s just my bias speaking.
Continue reading Thoughts on the #PPMI Twitterchat