Nancy C. MacDonald, Pharm.D., BCPS, FASHP
Transition of Care Coordinator
Department of Pharmacy Services
Henry Ford Hospital
Earlier this month, I participated in the ASHP Practice Advancement Initiative (PAI) 2030 Advisory Panel. I received the pre-reading assignments shortly after accepting the invitation. Although I had read most of the documents previously, I felt my role on the Advisory Panel required me to read the information with a different end in mind. Rather than performing an assessment of pharmacy practice at my site and how it needs to advance, I had to have a much broader assessment. I had to focus on where pharmacy practice should be for all types of health systems and practice sites (smaller, larger, academic, community, rural). This assessment and idea generation required me to focus on outcomes which are both aspirational and measurable.
Along with the ASHP Foundation 2019 Pharmacy Forecast, the required readings included the ASHP Minimal Practice Standards for Pharmacies in Hospitals and Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice Services. Many Michigan health systems have implemented the inpatient standards as they have been incorporated into accreditation standards. However, many sites might find the ambulatory care standards challenging. This was also evident in 2018 at the MSHP Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Leadership Workshop held last June. The workshop attendees identified strategic planning, financial health, pharmacy extenders and the use of technology as the opportunities for ambulatory care practice in Michigan. These opportunities were incorporated into the 2019 MSHP Committee charges to help sites throughout Michigan advance practice. However, after participating in the advisory panel, I am not sure all Michigan health systems have identified measurable outcomes to gauge their progress on advancing practice and transforming Michigan ambulatory care practice.
To develop practice advancement initiatives, we must be familiar with the disruptive forces of health care, how they will challenge pharmacy practice and what outcomes we will measure. Developing ideas and metrics for the next 11 years is daunting yet invigorating. I envision pharmacy practice different than it is today. Advances in technology and optimized use of current technology will enable us to provide services differently than in the past. It will also allow us to more easily identify patients who need our care. These aren't new concepts, but we need to identify the outcomes we will measure earlier in our endeavors than later. It is also important to share these with your colleagues at local, state and national meetings. This will allow us to learn from each other and continue to advance pharmacy practice in Michigan.
I suggest you challenge yourself to think differently. Pretend someone asks YOU to develop ideas for where pharmacy practice should be in 2030. How do you anticipate pharmacy practice will advance over the next 11 years? What outcomes will you use to measure practice advancement? Brainstorm with your staff to develop aspirational and measurable outcomes to advance practice at your site. Although you might find it daunting, let it be inspiring as well!