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April 30, 2019

ASHP Joins the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic as a Sponsoring Member

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

I AM PLEASED TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT ASHP has become a sponsoring member of the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. The other Collaborative Sponsors are:

  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • Aetna
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Medical Association
  • Arnold Ventures
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • CDC Foundation
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Council of Medical Specialty Societies
  • Federation of State Medical Boards
  • HCA Healthcare
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The mission of the Action Collaborative is to “convene and catalyze public, private, and non-profit stakeholders to develop, curate, and disseminate multi-sector solutions designed to reduce opioid misuse and improve outcomes for individuals, families, and communities affected by the opioid crisis.”

ASHP and our 50,000 members who serve as direct patient care providers in hospitals, health systems, rehabilitation centers and ambulatory clinics will bring a great deal of expertise to the Collaborative and play a major role to mitigate and end the opioid epidemic on behalf of our patients and communities, while ensuring that our patients receive appropriate pain management.

ASHP will serve on the Action Collaborative’s Opioid Prescribing Guidelines and Evidence Standards Working Group, and will also be providing insights and expertise to the Collaborative’s Health Professional Education and Training Working Group; Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Working Group; and Research, Data, and Metrics Needs Working Group.  As part of our initial work with the Collaborative, we have made several commitments that include but are not limited to:

  • Creation and dissemination of patient and prescriber education on pain management and opioid abuse mitigation best practices.
  • Enhanced patient access to evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder through increased utilization of pharmacists on the healthcare team.
  • Standardization of a framework for pain stewardship to coordinate pain management, opioid prescribing, and use of non-opioid therapies.
  • Coordination of care among patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals through the use of standardized patient-specific pain management and substance use disorder treatment plans.
  • Improvement of interoperability, artificial intelligence, and clinical decision support in healthcare information systems.
  • Identification of performance and quality metrics to assess impact.
  • Stimulating research on pain and opioid use disorders and their respective pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments.
  • Advancing efforts to prepare the pharmacy workforce through pharmacy education and professional development programs.

ASHP has also been actively involved in numerous public and private sector efforts to address the opioid crisis through the leadership of pharmacists and has worked diligently across a number of fronts to identify enduring solutions, including advocating for better access to medication-assisted treatment. We had the pleasure of working with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and attending the ceremony to commemorate the signing of H.R. 6, the “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act,” bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid crisis in October. ASHP will also continue to pursue policies that further support the vital roles pharmacists play as patient care providers in the treatment of acute and chronic conditions, including opioid and substance-use disorders.

You can find additional ASHP resources on our website, including:

We look forward to sharing more about our work with the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic and on ASHP’s ongoing efforts surrounding the opioid crisis, including creating various tools, education, and resources to support you in your practice.

Thank you for being a member of ASHP, and for everything that you do for your patients.

Sincerely,

Paul

December 17, 2018

ASHP Continues to Lead on Pharmacy Workforce Well-Being & Resilience

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

I am pleased to share with you that over the last year ASHP has continued to increase our efforts to support the well-being and resiliency of the pharmacy workforce. ASHP is an original sponsor of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience and is honored to support the pharmacy profession on this important patient care and workforce issue. As the NAM Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience approaches the two-year mark, I would like to share some updates with you on our efforts to help address this important issue facing pharmacists, pharmacy residents, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians.

These past 15 months, through the NAM Action Collaborative and ASHP’s own organizational efforts, we have raised the visibility of clinician burnout, depression, stress, and suicide. Over that time, ASHP has developed resources, educational programming at our national meetings, and community connections for members to learn more about the issue. Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy kicked off our 2018 ASHP Summer Meetings by challenging attendees to include well-being as the core of what we do as healthcare workers.

Summer Meetings attendees also heard about some of the science behind resilience and were introduced to interventions for building individual and team resilience through two interactive presentations by Dr. Bryan Sexton, Director of the Duke Patient Safety Center. Conversations on the topic continued in the ASHP House of Delegates, where delegates approved an ASHP policy on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience. We are very pleased to have an official professional policy for members to reference as they begin and continue discussions at their institutions. Efforts by the ASHP House of Delegates also helped form a joint ASHP Council and Commission session on the pharmacists’ role in suicide prevention during the 2018 ASHP Policy Week.

We know that burnout is associated with compromised patient safety and a loss of productivity in the healthcare workforce. As such, we continue to help advance pharmacy-specific research on resilience and well-being. ASHP recently partnered with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and Duke University Health to study the prevalence of burnout in pharmacy technicians and identify resources to support this important and growing segment of ASHP’s membership. While both NAM and ASHP are improving baseline understanding of challenges to clinician well-being, we are reminded that this is a local issue that requires local solutions to address it. ASHP members continue to share their strategies on how to foster the creation of resilience in clinical learning and managing preceptor burnout. If you traveled to Anaheim for the recent Midyear Clinical Meeting, there were multiple educational sessions on workforce well-being. Many of these sessions were recorded and will be available on ASHP eLearning in early 2019.

NAM recently kicked off a consensus study to examine systems approaches to improve patient care by supporting clinician well-being. ASHP nominated M. Lynn Crismon, Dean, University of Texas, College of Pharmacy, to serve on this committee, which will issue a report with recommendations for system changes to streamline processes and manage complexity, minimize the burden of documentation requirements, and enhance workflow and teamwork to support the well-being of all clinicians and trainees. In the meantime, the NAM clinician well-being knowledge hub continues to grow with solution strategies for leaders, organizations, and individuals, including ASHP contributions to a discussion paper on implementing optimal team-based care to reduce clinician burnout. ASHP state affiliates are also an important part of the conversation, and ASHP has created a state affiliate toolkit on well-being and resilience to assist them in their state-level efforts.

Our continued work in advancing workforce well-being and resilience is ultimately growing a foundation for long-term culture change. We have enhanced our SSHP Recognition Program for the 2018–2019 academic year to encourage our students to address the issue. We know that many of you are working on well-being and resilience within your organizations, and we would appreciate hearing from you. We encourage you to share your stories through our community on ASHP Connect. Or, maybe you know of an individual or an organization that is demonstrating positive progress on resilience and supporting a healthy and engaged workforce. If so, we encourage you to fill out this brief survey so that we can create case studies others can learn from.

I hope you share our enthusiasm about this very important work to support the resilience and well-being of the entire pharmacy workforce and about the impact this work will have on improving patient care.

Thanks so much for being an ASHP member and for everything you do for your patients and pharmacy teams. I look forward to sharing more with you in the future as ASHP’s efforts continue in this important area. Have a safe holiday season.

Sincerely,

Paul

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