The 2014 ASHP SUMMER MEETINGS in Las Vegas will look very different from their predecessors. Instead of a single large meeting, participants can choose from three concurrent and unique “boutique” conferences, each of which follows a specialized subject track. Welcome to the new ASHP Summer Meetings (note the intentional plural)!
“We looked at what makes some of our smaller meetings so successful year after year. What stood out clearly [in meetings like the Conference for Leaders in Health-System Pharmacy and the National Pharmacy Preceptors Conference] were the like-mindedness and shared interests of the people who attended,” said Michelle C. Abalos, Pharm.D., ASHP director of educational programs.
“Attendees had a common purpose and common goals, and many had similar professional responsibilities. Because the topics were very focused, participants felt the meeting was just for them.”
By applying the same structure to the new Summer Meetings, ASHP is focused on creating a heightened sense of purpose and inclusiveness by offering participants the opportunity to delve deeply into topics that are most relevant to their professional lives.
The Next Generation of Learning
“Attendees want meaningful connections and to interact with peers who have common goals.”
The Medication Safety Collaborative set the stage for this new boutique meeting model with its roll-out as a pilot program at the 2013 Summer Meeting. The four-day event included educational sessions, networking, and other activities led by some of the foremost medication safety experts in the country.
The response was overwhelmingly positive. When asked what they liked about their experiences, attendees mentioned the chance to interact with like-minded peers over several days, a sense of community and unified purpose, a dedicated physical space and dedicated ASHP staff, a supportive networking atmosphere, the interprofessional nature of the event, and education programs that ‘spoke to them.’
This year’s Collaborative once again features distinguished experts in the field who will challenge participants to apply new knowledge and skills and build competency in areas such as integrating human and environmental factors, creating a safety culture, linking safety activities to accreditation and performance measures, developing and leading an interprofessional safety team, and using best practices.
“Ideally, we’d like to see entire patient safety teams attend the meeting together,” said Abalos, noting the large array of collaborating partners in different disciplines, including organizations like the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, the American College of Physician Executives, and the Medication Safety Officers Society.
The new Informatics Institute will address emerging technology issues, such as the deployment of computerized prescriber order entry and ePrescribing. It targets pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, health information technology professionals, systems developers, policy-makers, consultants, vendor representatives, and other professionals involved in the collection and dissemination of health information.
Sessions at the new Pharmacy, Practice, & Policy meeting will revolve around leadership, operations and management, clinical practice, and policy and governance. It will also host ASHP House of Delegates activities.
Each of the boutique meetings will have its own dedicated space for educational sessions, networking, and other activities, and each will have separate information desks and ASHP support staff.
The boutiques will also feature separate keynote speakers and websites. But the meetings are not exclusive. Regardless of which boutique attendees register for, they will still have unrestricted access to all sessions and events at any of the three specialized meetings.
The ASHP Summer Meetings will continue to host a common opening session, grand opening reception, and exhibit hall, along with a debut feature called ConnectLive.
ConnectLive is a groundbreaking way to network, create meaningful connections, and help meeting participants interactively solve some of the tough problems they face in their work.
“We know that attendees who come to these meetings want meaningful connections and to interact with peers who have common goals,” added Abalos. “We’re excited about this new format because we truly believe it will provide that special atmosphere.”
–By Steve Frandzel