ASHP InterSections ASHP InterSections

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.



December 26, 2010

A Time to “Be Bold And Be Urgent”

Diane Ginsburg, M.S., FASHP

I WRITE THIS COLUMN having just returned from an incredibly energizing, exciting Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI) Summit in Dallas. Pharmacy thought leaders from across the country came together to reach consensus on how we, as hospital and health-system pharmacists, should be practicing our profession in the future.

Summit attendees looked at a number of overarching principles for future pharmacy practice models and came to an agreement on the following principles:

• We, as pharmacists, must move closer to the patient.
• The role of a qualified technician workforce and the use of technology must be greatly expanded.
• Pharmacy departments are accountable for the development and implementation of medication-use policy to ensure safe and effective use of medications.
• Pharmacists are accountable for patient outcomes.

As Billy Woodward urged, we need to “be bold and be urgent” in our work to enact practice change. We need to embrace our common commitment to our patients and be accountable for their positive outcomes.

Stay tuned in the months and years ahead as the Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative gains momentum. As a tangible outcome of the Summit, we envision that every pharmacy department in the country will be engaged in examining how it deploys its resources. It’s a truly exciting time to practice pharmacy!

InterSections is a great place to catch a glimpse of some of the most innovative practice models happening today. Our cover story (page 8), about the enhanced role for educated, trained, and certified pharmacy technicians, shows just how important this segment of the pharmacy workforce is. As pharmacists move into direct patient-care roles, we’ll need to rely more and more on our professional technician partners.

Also in this issue, you’ll find a story on exciting work being done in the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Pharmacists in five hospitals around the country are being mentored in cutting-edge VTE practices through an ASHP Advantage program called Stop VTE. This interprofessional initiative is designed to increase the rate of thromboprophylaxis in hospitalized patients and promote the safe use of anticoagulants.

As the country continues to struggle under the weight of an economic downturn, pharmacyschool graduates are beginning to feel the pinch. The story on page 12 focuses on the strategic choices that recent graduates and new practitioners are facing regarding how and where to practice pharmacy.

%%sidebar%%Finally, ASHP’s recent Drug Shortages Summit highlighted an unfortunate trend in medicine today. Drug shortages cause significant disruptions in patient care, including canceled or delayed medical treatments and procedures. They also lead to adverse events caused by medications that may have the potential for greater harm than the first-line therapy that is unavailable due to a shortage. In the story on page 14, read about how pharmacists are stepping into this gap, coming up with processes and approaches that minimize risks to the patient.

I hope you’ll be informed and inspired by what you find in this issue of ASHP InterSections!

Diane Ginsburg, M.S., FASHP

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