Pharmacy News

Entries for July 2019

Northern Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists

By Brad Beaman, Pharm.D., BCPS, clinical pharmacist, Munson Medical Center, Traverse City, Mich.

The Northern Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists (NMSHP) has recently held two meetings following the winter season. The first meeting, on April 18, held at MidMichigan Alpena featured a presentation by Chelsey Bruski, pharmacist at MidMichigan Alpena, educating the members on commonly used anesthesia medications. The May 16 meeting at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City featured the residents of Munson Traverse City presenting their yearlong research project results. At these meetings, the organization decided to move forward with broader education to certify more pharmacists in northern Michigan with the skill to administer Penicillin Allergy Assessment Skin Testing. This certificate program is planning to be offered at the end of summer/early fall to members of NMSHP.

As the summer season rolls along, our incoming president, Celine Quevillon, will take charge of the organization. Plans will be made for potential social gatherings during the summertime. Meeting information will also be disseminated as the summer progresses.

For more information on upcoming meetings, please contact NMSHP president Celine Quevillon at

Posted in: Member News
Making the Transition

By Catlin Page, Pharm.D., PGY-1 resident and Sandra Youssef, Pharm.D., PGY-1 resident, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, Clinton Township, Mich.

As the school year comes to an end, many students celebrate the start of summer and the relief of completing another year of school. For some, the end of this school year is a celebration of completing a program and entering a new profession. This can be a scary transition, especially for those graduates starting their new careers as pharmacists.

The most important part of this transition is knowing that you will not know everything and that is okay! School has provided you with the foundation of your knowledge, but practice provides you with the experience. Through experience you will see so much more than school can provide, and as a young pharmacist, know your limits and don't be shy to admit when you don't know something. Ask the questions, because your preceptors and colleagues can expand your knowledge base through their own experiences. Continue to push yourself to self-teach and expand your knowledge base even when the schooling stops.

As you begin this journey, realize that you may have a lot of questions and be slower than the other seasoned pharmacists around you. Patient safety should not be compromised at the cost of not feeling embarrassed or a nuisance. With that being said, it is important to know that you are going to make mistakes throughout your career. These mistakes don't define your skills as a pharmacist. Instead, learn from these mistakes and use them as opportunities to grow.

In your career you are going to have plenty of opportunities to give back, not only in the community, but also to other student pharmacists. Reflect on your time as a student and remember the preceptors who helped you along the way. Learning from good preceptors and the "bad" preceptors will help you develop a teaching style that is all your own. It is important to know that even if you don't think you have an effect on someone during your time as a pharmacist, even just taking a second to talk to a struggling student may help them in ways you never thought possible.

Through transition we find challenge, but only through this challenge do we find our purpose. This transition period is short compared to a life full of accomplishments. Use this period to learn and grow into the pharmacist you want to be. "Understand that the hardest times in life to go through are when you are transitioning from one version of yourself to another"-Sarah Addison Allen.

Posted in: Professional Practice
Opportunities to Meet Residency Preceptor Qualifications
By Laura Hencken, Pharm.D., BCCCP, clinical pharmacist, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Mich.
The ASHP Accreditation Standards for PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Programs contains a standard for requirements for the residency program director and preceptors.1 This standard specifies six preceptor qualifications that preceptors should meet to demonstrate the ability to precept residents' learning experiences.Preceptors need to meet one of the qualifying characteristics in each of the six preceptor qualifications. The six preceptor qualifications are:1
1. Demonstrating the ability to precept residents' learning experiences by use of clinical teaching roles (instructing, modeling, coaching, facilitating) at the level required by residents
2. The ability to assess residents' performance
3. Recognition in the area of pharmacy practice for which they serve as preceptors
4. An established, active practice in the area for which they serve as preceptors
5. Maintenance of continuity of practice during the time of residents' learning experiences
6. Ongoing professionalism, including a personal commitment to advancing the profession
Programs and preceptors may find it difficult to meet these qualifications for all preceptors within their program. In fact, 69 percent of PGY-1 programs are cited as not meeting this standard.2 Therefore, there is room for residency programs to improve in meeting preceptor qualifications.
The Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) and Michigan Society of Health System Pharmacists (MSHP) provide multiple opportunities for preceptor development and professional development. The MSHP Residency Committee reviewed the preceptor qualifications to identify ways the organizations might be able to help individual preceptors and PGY-1 programs meet requirements. Below is a table that details how each preceptor qualification can be met through MPA and/or MSHP. Residency program directors and preceptors can use this information to enhance preceptor training and to provide activities which foster professional growth.
Preceptor Qualification
Opportunity Through MPA or MSHP
Clinical Teaching Role & Ability to Assess Performance
MPA and MSHP provide education sessions and webinars directed at improving preceptor teaching skills and assessing a trainee's performance. See the Education and Events section of the MPA website for more information at
Recognition in Area of Practice
MPA and MSHP provide opportunities for preceptors to be recognized for their area of practice and their service at the local, state and national levels. The Fellow of MPA Award recognizes an individual's achievements and dedication to the practice of pharmacy and the community. Additionally, active participation in MPA and MSHP help fulfill the ASHP qualifications for Fellow status with ASHP.
More information about MPA and MSHP recognition opportunities can be found on the MPA website in August 2019.
Active in Established Practice Area
MPA and MSHP committees and task forces provide opportunities for active involvement in one's established areas of practice. A list of volunteer opportunities and applications can be found at the MPA website in August 2019.
For a list of opportunities within MPA and MSHP for preceptors to demonstrate continued professional development please see information at the MPA website in August 2019.
If you are interested in volunteering to present an education session in your area of expertise, submit an education session application found at

Since this article is being published near the start of the new residency year and MSHP committee interest forms are due, it may be helpful for your preceptors to evaluate how they want to get involved with MSHP. The committee interest form can be found at You must be a member of MSHP and logged in to the website to view the form. There are also multiple opportunities to recognize Michigan preceptors by nominating them for an award. Additionally, preceptors or program directors might not be aware of the Fellow of MPA Award, recognizing individual achievement and dedication to pharmacy practice. Please visit the website to learn more about these opportunities at
ASHP Accreditation Standard for Postgraduate Year One (PGY-1) Pharmacy Residency Programs. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 2016. Accessed May 31, 2019.
2. The Communique. American Society of Health System Pharmacists. Spring 2019. Volume 22. Issue
3. Accessed May 31, 2019.
Posted in: Professional Practice
Measuring Member Engagement
By Alice Chen, Pharm.D., PGY-1 pharmacy resident, Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Member engagement is crucial to the achievement of an organization's goals and can lead to higher member retention. However, member engagement itself is not readily defined. Generally, member engagement involves members investing time and other resources to make use of the benefits they receive by being members of the organization. What member engagement actually looks like depends on the organization in question.1,2 It also depends on the type of member; for example, newer members may be easily engaged through an email campaign introducing them to certain member benefits each week, while experienced members may feel more engaged when invited to share their knowledge through more active participation in the organization.3
Measuring member engagement can provide information that may be helpful in improving an organization's performance and identifying opportunities to provide value for members. Some tools assign points to certain activities that signal engagement in the organization.4 However, creating a tool to measure member engagement can be challenging, in part due to the lack of a standard definition for member engagement.Furthermore, engagement methods may not be accurate. Some activities that should be included in the measurement may be inadvertently excluded, and certain patterns of engagement may skew the data overall, making it more difficult to identify true trends. For example, some members may be very actively engaged through activities that correlate with low point values as assigned by the measurement tool while others may have participated in an activity several years ago that garnered many points but may not currently be engaged at all within the organization. The scores of these two different types of members may not differentiate between their particular patterns of engagement.4
The Membership Committee was tasked this year with defining member engagement within our association and developing a sustainable system to measure member engagement. We are currently working to refine our engagement scoring tool, which assigns points to activities that signal engagement in accordance to the level of engagement that each activity entails.4 The first step is to identify activities that signal engagement within our organization. Activities that we may be evaluating as part of our system of measuring member engagement include event attendance, education, email engagement, website logins, committee participation, donations, social media activity, participation in the Pharmacy Mentoring Network and speaking/authoring contributions over a period of 12 months.
The purpose behind measuring member engagement is to analyze how members are engaged in our association and find ways to further improve member engagement. Having at least 10-20 percent of members engaged beyond occasional email engagement, annual conference attendance and utilization of only some of the association's benefits (rather than all of its benefits) can significantly enhance an association's success.1 Ultimately, by defining member engagement and creating a system to measure it, our goal is to determine how the Michigan Pharmacists Association and Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists can better provide value for members of all levels of experience and expertise.
Five Key Steps to Define, Measure and Manage Member Engagement. Stratford Managers Corporation [Internet]. April 2018. Available from:
Sisson C. Member Engagement Scoring Made Easy. Walsworth® [Internet]. March 2017. Available from:
Green C. 5 Easy Actions to Take to Increase Member Engagement Next Year. Higher Logic All Together [Internet]. Dec. 2015. Available from:
Dietz J. 5 Myths About Measuring Member Engagement. Higher Logic All Together [Internet]. Aug. 2016. Available from:
Posted in: Member News
The State of Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice in Michigan
By Annie Ottney, Pharm.D., BCPS, associate professor and ambulatory care pharmacist, Ferris State University/Sparrow Health, Lansing, Mich. and Jodie Elder, Pharm.D., professor and ambulatory care pharmacist, Ferris State University/Metro Health, Wyoming, Mich.
"I need you." This is a statement I was greeted with while working at my desk in a family medicine office on a Wednesday afternoon when I was introduced to an internal medicine practice manager taking an informal tour of our facility. She didn't need me specifically, but more generally, a pharmacist. On a number of levels, the statement took me aback as I realized that perhaps the time has come when healthcare leadership recognizes a pharmacist in an ambulatory care office has become the "standard of care." The idea that a pharmacist should be an expected member of the healthcare team at every provider office, similar to a nurse or mental health professional, has been a dream of ambulatory care pharmacy leaders for many years.1

The field of ambulatory care pharmacy represents a diverse area of practice that ranges widely in populations served and disease states managed. Ambulatory care embodies one of the fastest growing specialty areas within the profession of pharmacy. The most recent report from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties indicated that board certification in ambulatory care was the third most common certification, behind pharmacotherapy and geriatrics.2 Driven largely by the realization that physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants can't "do it alone" pharmacists have become a natural fit to supplement the increasingly complex care of patients in the outpatient setting while also helping to achieve the "quadruple aim" (see Figure 1).3

Figure 1. The Quadruple Aim to Optimize Health System Performance

In order to better grasp the state of ambulatory care practice in Michigan, a survey was sent out in early 2019 to ambulatory care pharmacists and health system pharmacy managers across the state. Twenty-one responses were collected from the survey. The majority of those surveyed practice in a primary care setting (67 percent) with the most common services provided including disease state management (76 percent), medication access/prior authorization/patient assistance (71 percent), and medication therapy management (67 percent). Most of the respondents bill for their services (62 percent), have prescriptive authority under a collaborative practice agreement (93 percent), and track performance metrics (81 percent), such as interventions, number of patient contacts per day, and productivity. Just over half of respondents are tracking clinical outcomes (52 percent), such as hemoglobin A1c or blood pressure and only 47 percent are using a pharmacy extender (student, resident or technician) in their practice.

Although limited by a small sample size and response bias, results from the survey indicate that survey respondents (ambulatory care pharmacists in Michigan) are practicing at a high level. As evidenced by the survey, pharmacy extenders, such as student pharmacists, pharmacy residents and pharmacy technicians could be leveraged to improve workflow efficiency and increase tracking of patient-centered clinical outcomes. Interestingly, this also aligns with what survey respondents found to be the most important opportunity to advance ambulatory care practice in Michigan: to demonstrate the value of ambulatory care practitioners. The state of ambulatory care pharmacy practice in Michigan is looking good and the time is now to get on board. The only question left is how you will respond the next time someone says, "I need you."
1. Homsted FA, Chen DF, Knoer SJ. Building value: expanding ambulatory care in the pharmacy enterprise. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2016;73:635-641.
2. Board of Pharmacy Specialties. BPS 2018 Annual Report. Available at: Accessed May 17, 2019.
3. Bodenheimer T, Sinsky C. From triple to quadruple aim: care of the patient requires care of the provider. Ann Fam Med. 2014;12:573-576.
Posted in: Professional Practice
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