by Shawna Kraft, Pharm.D., clinical pharmacist – hematology/oncology, University of Michigan Health System
How can you gear up for provider status? It is not necessary to wait until we have the official legislation as there is a plethora of resources available to begin optimizing your practice now and begin the steps toward being a recognized provider.
Resources for Pharmacists
For those practicing in ambulatory care, Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) has an Ambulatory Care Toolkit available here that provides excellent and extensive information on business models and clinical resources. Even those pharmacists working inpatient may find some of this information beneficial to their practice.
A few other states such as North Carolina have had a version of provider status since 2000 and can provide a best practice example for how we may be able to implement once we have similar status in Michigan.
Best practice examples are also available within our own state. We have a pharmacy practice model initiative in Michigan (PPMI2) that works toward advancing pharmacy practice. There are examples listed here from practices around the state detailing how efforts are already happening to advance our roles.
Resources for Other Healthcare Professionals
Dana Staat, MSHP president, stated in her “Gearing Up” article in January 2017 MSHP Monitor that it is important to get key stakeholders to further understand the impact pharmacists can have as providers. The MPA website has the Pharmacists As Providers resource which was created and is maintained by the MSHP/MPA Public Affairs Committee. This document contains quick overviews of information about different disease states and treatments and highlights the vital role of the pharmacist as it relates to those diseases. This information can provide a starting point for discussing, expanding or optimizing the services you are providing. Find the Pharmacist as Providers webpage here.
Resources for Patients
Patients can be powerful advocates for pharmacy. The MSHP/MPA Public Affairs Committee also created a Pharmacists As Providers resource specifically for patients. This document contains the same topics covered in the resource for pharmacists, but aims to explain to patients the pharmacist’s role in those disease states and treatment programs. Find that resource here.
Optimizing Roles of the Technician, Students and Residents
One component of optimizing our roles as pharmacists is ensuring we are supporting the development of pharmacy technicians, students and residents. Practices can work to expand their patient care model to rely on the use of technicians, as well as students and residents, as essential components to the workflow. This is an area we should all be implementing now so that we are primed and have the capacity to expand our provision of patient care when the time comes.
Lastly, I believe our best resource is each other. Networking and attending meetings and conferences to hear what others are doing and share your practice is the best way we can support one another to achieve ideal patient care. I would encourage you to reach out to those who are expanding their practices and share ideas. This is only the beginning of the impact we can have on our patients.