The growing complexity of health care and increasing responsibilities of pharmacists as part of interdisciplinary health care teams are among the reasons why the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) has increased the numbers of board certifications available in recent years.
“The number of specialty petitions we’re considering has doubled in the last five years. Back in 2010, we had five or six, now we’re at 11 with three more in various stages of development,” said William Ellis, MS, RPh, BPS executive director.
Board certifications for Cardiology and Infectious Diseases were approved by the BPS Board of Directors and are working their way through the three-year process.
“Cardiology and Infectious Diseases are entering year three, which will culminate in the first exam in 2018,” Ellis said.
There are 11 BPS specialties following the merger this year of the Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (CGP) credential and approval of Cardiology and Infectious Diseases. In Geriatric Pharmacy, the title changed from CGP to Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (BCGP) although credential holders can use either title this year. A new content outline is in development and will be used in the spring 2018 certification exam.
Three other specialties being considered—Sterile Compounding, Solid Organ Transplantation and Emergency Medicine—are at various stages in the pipeline. Professional organizations participate in determining which specialties should be considered and write petitions. For example, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Pharmacists Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists contributed to the Infectious Diseases specialty petition.
BPS has completed the Sterile Compounding role delineation study, the first step in the timeline, and is expecting a petition for review from pharmacy organizations. A decision could come by the end of the year. If approved, the first exam would be within two years.
BPS reviewed the Solid Organ Transplantation role delineation study and issued a call in May for a petition to be developed.
Experts are being sought to do an Emergency Medicine role delineation study. After reviewing the study, the BPS board will decide if it issues a call for petition.
Up next: Cardiology and Infectious Diseases