MPA | Pharmacy News

Advancing Pharmacy Services

Posted on November 15, 2018 in: Innovative Practice

By John S. Clark, Pharm.D., M.S, BCPS, FASHP, associate chief of pharmacy, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor; clinical associate professor, University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, Ann Arbor and president-elect, Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists

What does advancing pharmacy services mean to you? Advancing the professional goals of pharmacists? Advancing the technology in pharmacy? Fancy high tech buildings with palatial spaces? Provision of care to patients? Providing support for other clinicians? Patient counseling? Potentially all of these?

In the spirit of President MacDonald’s theme, “Demonstrating Our Value,” it is imperative that pharmacists and pharmacy extenders consider when we advance pharmacy services, what value is gained from the advancement. Do we improve patient outcomes? Do we free up pharmacist time? What are the pharmacists doing in that newly available time? What value is added for the patients?

All of these questions are critical to the creation of the future of pharmacy practice. However, as the profession’s responsibilities grow in scope, we have a beacon to assure us of our direction. Our patients will guide us to the most critical services they need from the profession of pharmacy.

Do I mean ask patients directly? Only, sort of. Patients should be part of the focused group that suggests services that are needed from pharmacy. Additional input from physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, PAs, NPs and health-system administration can inform what service weaknesses there are for patients. With a clear focus on what patients need, this well-informed team can suggest, design and assist in implementation of patient care services. After implementation, measurement of impact or value is often neglected. We must measure our changes to enhance our understanding of what services are of value to our patients.

As we consider this, our profession must ask: how are we going to create our future? What is our profession’s moonshot? Our big hairy audacious goal?

It’s our duty to create this in collaboration with all of our stakeholders! Are you up to the challenge? Are you the leader we need? Get involved in your own pharmacy departments and the Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists!

This is an exciting time in our profession. Be on the front line of creating the future of pharmacy practice.

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