ASHP InterSections ASHP InterSections

September 30, 2019

ASHP Opioid Task Force Focuses on Role of Pharmacists in Combating Opioid Crisis

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

This week we look forward to convening an Opioid Task Force meeting to address the important roles pharmacists play in combating the opioid crisis, a multifaceted issue that requires sustained efforts by all members of the interprofessional care team. While no easy fixes exist to end the opioid epidemic, ASHP and our 50,000 members have been working diligently to shape the solutions around opioids through the engagement of pharmacists on behalf of our patients and communities. Still, there is far more work to be done.

The interdisciplinary ASHP Opioid Task Force, chaired by Past President Lisa Gersema, is charged with identifying actionable solutions, tools, and resources to help address the national opioid epidemic through the engagement of pharmacists as medication therapy experts, clinicians, and providers on the interprofessional team. Key areas of focus include:

  • Identifying the roles that pharmacists play in initiating, building, and growing opioid stewardship.
  • Identifying best medication-related pain management prescribing practices that optimize the use of non-opioid therapies.
  • Identifying the public health roles that pharmacists play in their communities as related to the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders.
  • Developing recommendations on a solutions-focused public policy agenda.
  • Identifying education, tools, and other resources to help hospitals and health systems address the opioid crisis, including in areas related to drug diversion prevention and mitigation.

The ASHP Opioid Task Force will examine how pharmacists can drive practice changes, community-wide opioid-related efforts, and policy solutions. The recommendations will be reinforced by the breadth and depth of expertise of each Task Force member, many of whom have direct experiences with developing opioid stewardship programs, policies to increase access to medication-assisted treatment, opioid-related community programs, and shaping the national agenda to address the epidemic. The Task Force will be working to finalize its recommendations in the forthcoming months. The outcomes of the Task Force will be published in a spring issue of the AJHP and shared widely with our membership, partners, and external stakeholders.

As discussed in a previous blog, ASHP is a sponsoring member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. ASHP will be sharing the outcomes of the Task Force with NAM to contribute and support the larger national dialogue around opioids. ASHP serves on the Action Collaborative’s Pain Management Guidelines and Evidence Standards Working Group and Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Working Group. As the Action Collaborative works to further synthesize and amplify evidence-based medicine to prevent and manage opioid use disorder, ASHP is committed to highlighting the role of the pharmacist throughout.

We look forward to sharing more about our work with the ASHP Opioid Task Force and on ASHP’s ongoing efforts surrounding the opioid crisis, including creating various tools, education, and resources to support you in your practice.

As this work moves forward, I urge you to review ASHP’s current resources on the topic, including our toolkits on pain managementcontrolled substances management, and opioid management.

Click here to view the complete ASHP Opioid Task Force roster.

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

Sincerely,

Paul

July 11, 2019

ASHP, Well-Being, and You

Dear colleagues,

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

There is a great deal of national attention on the issue of healthcare provider burnout, which is affecting our pharmacists, pharmacy residents, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians at unprecedented rates.

As many of you know, burnout is a syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment. Moreover, there is a significant correlation between poor well-being of healthcare professionals and worsening patient safety. In May 2019, the World Health Organization clarified that burnout is an occupational phenomenon caused by chronic workplace stress that needs to be monitored and better understood. It’s also an expensive problem. Research conducted at the Mayo Clinic estimates that burnout costs the U.S. healthcare system $4.6 billion every year.

A healthy and thriving clinician workforce is essential to ensure optimal patient health outcomes and safety. That’s why ASHP has been a leader in well-being and resilience (WBR) for nearly 40 years. We first addressed this as a critical practice issue in a 1982 AJHP article that explores recognizing, reversing, and preventing hospital pharmacist burnout.

In 2017, ASHP became the pharmacy sponsoring organization of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience. This four-year initiative is raising the visibility of clinician burnout, improving baseline understanding of challenges to clinician well-being, and advancing evidence-based solutions to improve patient care by caring for the caregiver. ASHP is a member of the NAM Action Collaborative Conceptual Model Working Group which is charged with identifying factors that affect clinician well-being and resilience. The goal is to create urgency and understanding of the issue while being careful not to oversimplify the complexity of it. In addition, we recently participated in a NAM meeting in Chicago, focused on redesigning the clinical learning environment to enhance well-being. ASHP member Kofi Andoh, a rising third-year student at Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, was one of five participants selected to share his perspective on the stressful demands placed on students.

To further assess the issue of workplace burnout, ASHP recently conducted a national survey of nearly 2,000 people with help from The Harris Poll. The results show that almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents are concerned about burnout among healthcare professionals. Furthermore, one in four Americans surveyed believes hospital pharmacists (26%) and retail pharmacists (25%) are experiencing burnout. These data show that pharmacy workforce stress is visible to our patients, which is why ASHP has made addressing pharmacy workforce well-being a top priority.

In June 2018, the ASHP House of Delegates approved a new professional policy on clinician well-being and resilience. At our Summer Meetings last month, the House of Delegates reinforced our commitment to WBR by approving a new policy on suicide awareness and prevention, the most tragic and extreme consequence of burnout. The policy recognizes the vital role of the pharmacy workforce in suicide prevention, and the importance of maintaining the health and well-being of both our patients and our colleagues.

June was National Employee Well-Being Month, and in honor of Global Wellness Day on June 8, we launched an online portal – Wellbeing & You – as a resource for pharmacists, pharmacy residents, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. This website is also a place for colleagues to share their experiences with burnout and to pledge their commitment to strengthening personal and workplace resilience. I encourage you to visit the site to learn about burnout, view ASHP’s webinars on WBR, check out the ASHP State Affiliate Toolkit, and contribute to the ASHP Connect Community on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience.

Join ASHP’s movement to combat burnout by sharing your stories and taking the pledge. Keep your eye out for #WellbeingWednesday on social media, where we’ll offer even more WBR tips, member stories, and resources.

Please know that ASHP is here to support you in your career in every way we can and that we will continue to provide you with valuable WBR resources. Thank you for being a member of ASHP, and for everything you do for your patients.

Sincerely,
Paul

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

Powered by WordPress