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New Strategic Plan Points the Way Forward

Apr 30, 2013

Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

A GOOD STRATEGIC PLAN allows us to map our future with a clear course to success. In January of this year, the ASHP Board of Directors approved a new comprehensive Strategic Plan.

This plan is a significant departure from the Leadership Agenda that it replaces because it includes and integrates all ASHP activities and operations. While the previous document focused only on professional priorities, our new Strategic Plan includes three main pillars: Our Patients and Their Care, Our Members and Partners, and Our People and Performance.

This new plan embodies our passion, our energy, and our unwavering commitment to you–our members–and the patients whom you serve.

We began the process of creating this comprehensive Strategic Plan by starting with a new vision statement for ASHP. Working with a great team of Board members, Section and Forum Executive Committee leaders, and ASHP staff at an April 2012 retreat, we strove to develop a new vision that would be bold, far-reaching and important to our members and patients.

In particular, we wanted to create a vision that is universal in focus and covers all patients in all settings across the continuum of care. I am pleased to say that our new vision statement achieves this important goal:

ASHP’s vision is that medication use will be optimal, safe and effective for all people, all of the time.

Working from our new vision statement, we turned to revising our mission. Again, we focused on pharmacists’ role in the full spectrum of individual and public health. We wanted to craft a mission statement that moved beyond medications to emphasize that, in addition to treating disease, pharmacists have an important role in improving and maintaining health. Our new mission statement, below, also sets the stage for our member pharmacists as providers caring for and following patients through their entire healthcare experience, regardless of the site of care:

The mission of pharmacists is to help people achieve optimal health outcomes. ASHP helps its members achieve this mission by advocating and supporting the professional practice of pharmacists in hospitals, health systems, ambulatory clinics, and other settings spanning the full spectrum of medication use. ASHP serves its members as their collective voice on issues related to medication use and public health.

Drawing from the vision and mission, we created ambitious strategies, goals and objectives. As I mentioned above, the Strategic Plan includes three pillars, which are short and simple, yet all-encompassing, high-level strategies:

    1. Our Patients and Their Care
    2. Our Members and Partners
    3. Our People and Performance

The first pillar focuses on the central purpose of pharmacists: improving the health of our patients throughout the entire continuum of care, including both ambulatory and acute care. The goals and objectives within this strategy provide a roadmap for how ASHP helps its members care for their patients now and in the future. They include:

  • Improving patient outcomes from medications;
  • Wellness and preventative care;
  • Advancing pharmacy practice;
  • Helping the pharmacy workforce meet patient needs;
  • Providing professional development;
  • Advocating for laws, regulations, and standards; and
  • Placing an increasing emphasis on expanding our members’ practices in clinics and other ambulatory care settings.

Examples of activities in this realm include efforts related to improving care transitions, using information technology and pharmacy technicians more effectively, advancing efforts related to the Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative, ensuring an adequate supply of well-trained pharmacists, providing contemporary education and professional development, and advocating for changes in laws and regulations that give patients greater and more effective access to pharmacists.

The second pillar of our new Strategic Plan focuses on the central purpose of ASHP: our members. Members are the focus of our work and are the core of ASHP’s inspiration and reason for being. The goals and objectives of this pillar relate to how we serve our members and work with other stakeholders, including:

  • Maintaining a high level of member satisfaction,
  • Growing membership,
  • Supporting our state affiliates,
  • Engaging members through Sections and Forums,
  • Working in collaboration with our various partners in pharmacy and the broader healthcare community, and
  • Publishing timely and innovative resources.

Some examples of activities in this area include enhancing opportunities for members to participate and take leadership roles in ASHP; partnering with ASHP state affiliates on advocacy and other efforts to improve patient care; increasing the number of tools and resources to help our members best care for their patients; and fostering and growing relationships with pharmacy, medicine, nursing, consumer organizations, and others.

The third pillar focuses on a vital element to our success: our staff and organizational performance. ASHP can be proud of its strong staff team. Our staff is a critical success factor and an invaluable asset to the organization as we strive to meet and exceed our ambitious goals. This pillar’s goals include:

  • Fostering staff excellence, teamwork and innovation;
  • Ensuring a financially strong organization;
  • Maintaining effective and energized governance;
  • Effectively managing our organizational infrastructure; and
  • Fostering high-performance staff leadership.

The essence of this pillar and its related goals and objectives is that having the best staff in the business and a financially strong organization is central to the Society’s ability to continue to maintain and enhance the services that we provide to our members.

We are all very excited about the future this plan will help guide us to. We will use the Strategic Plan to direct all ASHP activites, focusing our work on the most important issues and services required by you and the patients you serve.

I encourage you to review the new ASHP Strategic Plan, share it with your colleagues, and use this plan as you engage in your own strategic planning efforts within your practice setting.

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