Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Pharmacists

January 2, 2018

We asked pharmacists from all over the country what resolutions pharmacists should make in 2018. Here's what they said.

New year, same old problems. What’s a pharmacist to do?

The problems won’t get any easier, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. This year, resolve to be the best pharmacist that you can be. But what exactly does that look like?

We asked pharmacists and pharmacy groups to weigh in on what they think are the most important resolutions pharmacists should be making in 2018. From medication adherence to opioids to finding better advice, these experts from around the world of pharmacy can help you decide how to make this year your best professional year ever. You can’t make yourself perfect, but every little step helps you become better than you were the day before.

Here’s to a great 2018! 

 

Lucinda Maine, RPh, PhD, Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

My hope for pharmacists in 2018 is that they individually and we collectively exercise leverage and leadership in our work. I recognize that when one is in the trenches on a day-to-day basis it can be hard to fully appreciate the landscape that surrounds you.

And there is a lot of change and uncertainty in health care to be sure. The overall move to enhanced pharmacy service networks, ambulatory care practice expansion, and more empowering scopes of practice present golden opportunities for pharmacists to use their knowledge, skills, compassion, and accessibility to truly be a solution to improved chronic care management and so much more.

 

Michael Cohen, RPh, FASHP, President of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices

No one ever wants to be involved in a dispensing error, especially one that might hurt a patient, be it a child or adult. One of the most important ways to prevent medication errors is to learn from errors that have occurred elsewhere and use that information to identify potential risk points or practices within your pharmacy or organization to prevent similar errors. Instead, too many pharmacists activate prevention measures only after an error has already happened.

Pharmacy leaders must identify reliable sources of information, establish a systematic way to review this information, assess the organization’s vulnerability to similar events, and determine a workable action plan to address any vulnerabilities.

Appoint someone to be responsible for oversight of this activity. Identify reputable resources to learn about risks and errors that have occurred elsewhere. Establish a formal process for monthly review of these risks. Make it part of your quality improvement effort just as if it already happened at your location. Consider the expert recommendations made by these safety organizations. What changes are needed at your location to assure the event never happens in the first place? Decide, then implement those changes.

 

 

Fred J. Pane RPh, BS, FASHP, FABC

Health care is change and this will continue to be a challenge for pharmacy, as a profession. We will need to continue to document our value in patient care, including how we control health care costs and contribute to improving patient outcomes. Mergers and acquisitions of businesses will continue. New patient-care delivery models and sites of care will be developed. New more expensive drugs, diagnostics, and technology will continue to challenge us and the way value is measured. As a profession, we need to figure out how to work together and address patient care needs across the continuum. There are disconnects currently in the transition of care model and the biggest resolution for 2018 that I see, is to fix disconnects.

 

 

NCPA

We are committed to expanding the ways we interact with our members to present new opportunities for them to grow their business and serve their patrons. In addition, we want to demonstrate the value of further integrating community pharmacists in health-care teams to lower total health care costs and improve patient outcomes.

 

 

Phil Burgess, RPh, MBA, Chairman of the Community Pharmacy Foundation

Illinois recently mandated that patients MUST be counseled on all new prescriptions. So the concept of just “making an offer” will no longer be sufficient. And, in my opinion, having the clerk or technician saying to the patient when they pick up a prescription “Got Any Questions” will become less and less acceptable nationally on so many levels. This is a GOOD THING! As a pharmacist, my resolution for 2018 is to encourage my peers to aggressively focus on daily demonstrating to their patients the value that they can provide to improving their personal healthcare. Proactively counseling each and every patient is a good start.

 

 

Perry Cohen, PharmD, CEO of The Pharmacy Group

Pharmacists should focus on improving patient outcomes by working with patients on medication adherence. They could monitor patients on opioids to decrease abuse.

 

 

ASHP

We resolve:

  • To continue our proactive and assertive efforts on drug shortages with Congress, the FDA, and other stakeholders to find solutions that prevent patient harm and the wasting of valuable health-care resources that are caused by drug shortages.

  • To expand access to the patient care services of pharmacists by amending the Social Security Act to recognize pharmacists as Medicare Part B providers.

  • To further elevate and professionalize the pharmacy technician workforce - and advance pharmacy practice - through the newly launched ASHP Pharmacy Technician Forum

  • To continue to advocate for solutions to skyrocketing drug prices through our leadership on the steering committee of the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing

  • To improve patient care by enhancing the well-being and resilience of pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians through ASHP’s leadership as a sponsoring organization of the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience.

  • To continue to combat the opioid abuse epidemic through advocacy, education, and the leadership of pharmacists on interprofessional patient care teams providing comprehensive medication therapy management.