Continuing professional development opportunities

September 15, 2013

A look at upcoming Continuing Pharmacy Education units on osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and cardiometabolic syndrome.

Thank you to those of you who are completing and enjoying our ongoing continuing pharmacy education offerings through Drug Topics. Last month completed the series on Pain Management and this month begins the first of two mini-sessions.

This month and next, the focus is on the considerations for osteoporosis prevention and management in medication therapy management (MTM). While MTM sessions are intended to identify, resolve, and prevent medication-related problems, patient health maintenance and disease prevention are also important components of MTM. Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis are major interventions that can prevent significant morbidity and mortality in our patients. Appropriate identification of patients at risk, recommendations for osteoporosis screenings, and management of preventative and maintenance therapies are all important aspects of the MTM function. We have designed the two monthly activities to assist you in considering recommendations for screening, prevention, treatment, and monitoring of patients who are at risk of or who have osteoporosis.

November and December’s activities will focus on MTM considerations for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). There have been many new, even oral, medications for multiple sclerosis over the past several years. While pharmacists are unlikely to recommend specific therapies for MS, there are related conditions for which the pharmacist might be involved from the standpoint of MTM. These two monthly installments will focus on drug-therapy options, adherence issues, and health-maintenance recommendations for the patient with MS.

Series success

In addition, we recognize that the diabetes series provided practical, user-friendly information on the treatment and monitoring of diabetes. The live meeting held in May 2013 was extremely successful, and feedback from the activities has been very positive.

One participant said this about the program as a whole: “I would just like to offer feedback to you about the MTM event that was held earlier in the week. It was AWESOME. I was a little nervous about being prepared, but the speakers and facilitators were excellent, supportive, and encouraging, which made me feel more comfortable. I am SO GLAD I participated in this series, and I want to thank you so much for offering the opportunity.”

We are arranging more dates for the live meetings, so that more pharmacists can participate, and have reserved Saturday, November 9, at the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, Bronx, N.Y., for the next Diabetes MTM live event. For more information, goto http://bit.ly/UCONNdm.

The month of January will also continue the theme of diabetes management. While the diabetes series addressed many of the drug therapies for diabetes, there have been several advances since the articles were published. January will focus on new therapies and changes in the diabetes guidelines. We are committed to providing you with the most up-to-date and accurate information as you develop your MTM skills. This article will prove a “must-read.”

Cardiometabolic Syndrome

We compiled your responses and tallied the needs of those who have been participating in our CE activities, and have decided that the next “big installment” will be a year-long discussion on MTM Considerations in the Patient with Cardiometabolic Syndrome. Beginning in February of 2014, topics will include hypertension, hyperlipidemia, anticoagulation, heart failure, weight loss, and smoking cessation, among others. As with the diabetes series, we plan to incorporate application-based learning through online interactive cases and practice-based learning through a live event and certification. This will be a comprehensive continuing professional development opportunity that you will not want to miss.

Please do not hesitate to provide us with feedback on any and all of our activities by e-mailing me at jill.fitzgerald@uconn.edu. We are committed to making your continuing pharmacy education a professional development experience by providing you with the tools to help your patients achieve better health outcomes through medication therapy management.

Jill Fitzgerald, PharmD, is director of Pharmacy Professional Development and assistant clinical professor at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy (www.pharmacy.uconn.edu/academics/ce).