PharmacyForward
Getting Started with Collaborative Practice Agreements

Getting Started with Collaborative Practice Agreements

July 13, 2021

Charmaine Rochester-Eyeguokan, PharmD, BCACP, CDCES - University of Maryland School of Pharmacy - and Jeffrey Tingen, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, BCACP, CDCES - VCU Health, Department of Family Medicine & Population Health - talk to use about the ins and outs of collaborative practice agreements.

Key Lessons

  • Collaborative practice is governed by state law and regulations; it is important to be familiar with the specific rules for constructing collaborative practice agreements (CPA) in your state.
  • Many states require pharmacists to have specific training and experience in order to enter into a CPA - but some states have relatively few requirements or none at all.
  • CPAs are useful tools to enable greater efficiency by granting the pharmacist greater autonomy to carry out certain patient care functions; however, a CPA is not required to perform many functions that are ordinarily a part of a pharmacist's scope of practice.
  • It's important to have a significant level of rapport and trust with your providers crafting a CPA together.
  • While CPAs are fairly common in ambulatory clinics, they are a potentially useful tool in community pharmacy practice, long-term care facilities, and specialty pharmacy practice.

To learn more about collaborative practice and CPA, check out the Collaborative Practice Resource Page on the iForumRx.org website.

Accepted! Writing, Submitting, and Publishing Manuscripts in Journals

Accepted! Writing, Submitting, and Publishing Manuscripts in Journals

June 8, 2021

Alan J. Zillich, PharmD — William S. Bucke Professor and Head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, Purdue University College of Pharmacy — talks with us about getting your work published; from identifying great ideas, collaborating, writing, and revising your manuscript.

Key Lessons:

  • From review articles to meta-analyses, from case reports to observational studies and controlled trials, getting your work published is immensely gratifying.  But it requires many months (and sometimes years) of effort.
  • Working with a mentor who has experience producing scholarly work and getting published is a great first step.
  • Good research questions arise from practice.  When there are gaps in our knowledge, that's where a scholarly project that's potentially publishable often emerges.
  • Working with an authoring team - bringing together people with different skills - can really improve the quality and rigor of your scholarly work.
  • Use explicit criteria to determine who qualifies as an author on a paper.  Be sure to acknowledge those who contributed but not meet the definition of author.
  • Finding the "right" journal for your work is important.  Each journal has a different audience and mission.
  • Getting rejected is part of the process. The feedback from peer reviewers can be extremely helpful and you are one step closer to getting published.  
  • Beware of predatory journals (who don't provide a rigorous peer review but still charge high publication fees).
  • Blocking time in your schedule to regularly engaging (at least weekly) in scholarly activities - researching and writing - is critical to success.  Make an appointment with yourself. Unfortunately, this might require early mornings, evenings, or weekends if you can't negotiate the time into your workday.
Finding a Meaningful Side Gig

Finding a Meaningful Side Gig

May 11, 2021

Jessica Louie, PharmD, BCCCP — president of Clarify Simplify Align, the host of the Burnout Doctor podcast, and Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at West Coast University — talks to us about developing a meaningful side gig to reinvigorate your passions.

Key Lessons:

  • Every career has ups and downs ... and health care professionals are prone to burnout.  Burnout is a syndrome of emotional & physical exhaustion, cynicism about work, and a lack of a sense of personal accomplishment.
  • Overcoming burnout takes time to address -  examining your emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.
  • Learning how to "own" your time and being intentional with your energy is critically important.
  • Starting a small business can be very gratifying so long as the activity aligns with your core values and passions.
  • The ten pillars of life can enhance one's sense of wellbeing.  A meaningful side gig can enhance the sense of wellbeing by address several of the life pillars.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded people who are interested in or who have successfully developed a side gig.
  • Be mindful of the big transitions in life - to minimize stress, whenever possible, limit your attention to one major life event at a time.
  • Starting a side gig will require a significant time commitment but you can manage it by using time blocking and simplifying.

You can download the Burnout Starter Kit to learn how to clarify, simplify, and align your life.

Working Remotely - Making Remote Work, Work

Working Remotely - Making Remote Work, Work

April 13, 2021

Christie Nemoto, PharmD, BCACP - Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in The Queen's Health Systems - Queen's Clinically Integrated Physician Network (QCIPN) - talks to us about providing care to patients at a distance and creating an effective work environment at home.

Key Lessons:

  • Health professionals had to learn new skills in order to deliver care to patients and interact with colleagues at a distance over the past year.  Remote work became the new norm during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Clinical care models in Hawaii have evolved over the years to support patients at a distance.  Hawaii is an archipelago of islands and access to health care services is enabled by a variety of technologies.
  • Pharmacists play a critical role on the healthcare team, even more so in the digital age.
  • Remote communications with patients are challenging - particularly written patient education sheets and post-visit summaries.
  • Clinicians need to rely on verbal clues (rather than visual clues) to ensure patient understanding.
  • When working from home, it's important to create habits and routines that mimic your work at the office such as dressing professionally, starting and stopping the workday in normal work hours, creating a designated workspace, and setting ground rules with family.
  • Be creative using remote activities to increase bonding and consistent communication between team members.
Pharmacists and Point-of-Care Testing

Pharmacists and Point-of-Care Testing

March 16, 2021

Donald Klepser, Ph.D., MBA - Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy - and Michael Klepser, Pharm.D. - Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Ferris State University College of Pharmacy - talk to us about the role of point-of-care testing in disease state management and to achieve public health goals.

Key Lessons:

  • Point-of-care tests (POCT) can be performed in non-laboratory settings, such as the patient's home or in a community pharmacy, and provide clinical data to make treatment decisions.
  • The sooner test results can be made available, the sooner treatment can be initiated.  This is particularly important for many infectious diseases because the outcome is closely tied to how rapidly the treatment is started.
  • When deployed in community-based pharmacies and clinics, POCTs help increase access to care, particularly in rural and underserved areas.
  • POCT can be used to test for influenza, SARS-CoV-2 (aka COVID-19), Streptococcal pharyngitis (aka strep throat), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and other sexually transmitted infections as well as monitor serum lipids, serum electrolytes, and renal function.
  • Under a collaborative practice agreement (CPA), community pharmacists can use the results of POCT to quickly initiate treatment or adjust the doses of medications.
  • POCT empower pharmacists to provide a range of health-related services.
  • Student pharmacists can play a critical role in building our capacity to deploy POCT and provide disease management services in new locations.
  • Key opportunities for the future:
    • PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent HIV
    • Hepatitis C infection
    • Sexually transmitted infections panel
    • Lead exposure
Pharmacists and Population Health

Pharmacists and Population Health

February 18, 2021

Amanda Schartel, PharmD, BCACP - Clinical Pharmacy Specialist with ChristianaCare CareVio - talks with us about the roles and responsibilities of a population health pharmacist.

Key Lessons:

  • Population health involves holistically evaluating the health needs of a population and bringing together the resources and expertise needed to address those needs.
  • Population health teams often include practitioners that many patients in primary care settings don't ordinarily have access including social workers, respiratory therapists, and clinical pharmacists.
  • Sophisticated data analytics and remote monitoring tools help population health practitioners proactively identify patients who may need additional services or whose health status may be changing.
  • Patient encounters are often conducting using videoconferencing technology and text-messaging can quickly capture patient experience data. 
  • The role and responsibilities of the population health pharmacist often extend beyond what an ambulatory care pharmacist might address.
  • Population health pharmacists often have the authority to adjust medication regimens and order laboratory tests.
  • Residency training and board certification are not required but preferred for those seeking employment as a population health pharmacist. 
  • The key skill sets needed by a population health pharmacist include patient management experience addressing complex medication-related issues as well as a deep knowledge of quality metrics and value-based payment structures.
Pharmacists and Public Health

Pharmacists and Public Health

January 27, 2021

Rear Admiral (RADM) Pamela Schweitzer - retired Chief Professional Officer of Pharmacy for the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) - talks to us about the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists during a public health crisis.  Dr. Schweitzer was responsible for providing leadership and coordination of USPHS pharmacy programs for the Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health & Human Services from 2014-2018.

Key Lessons:

  • Pharmacists play a critical role in the USPHS because they have a unique skill set.
  • A pandemic, like COVID-19, requires a coordinated effort between the public and private sectors to address mass vaccination efforts as well as shortages of medications, testing, and personal protective equipment using an incident command structure.
  • USPHS pharmacists are deployed to the hardest-hit zones to provide medical and scientific assistance.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, USPHS officers have been helping set-up community testing and mass-vaccination sites as well as providing input on federal guidance impacting pharmacists and pharmacies.
  • Pharmacists in the USPHS must wear many hats. While formal training is helpful, getting a wide breadth of on-the-job experiences is critical.
  • Be curious. Learn new skills in every position/job. Be flexible and positive. Be comfortable with shifting conditions. Step up, speak up, and volunteer.  Act when you can.  Be a role model.
  • If you'd like to get more involved, consider volunteering with your local Medical Reserve Corps , applying to become a Commissioned Officer in the USPHS or the newly formed USPHS Ready Reserve Corps.
Social Media to Make Professional Connections (II)

Social Media to Make Professional Connections (II)

July 8, 2020

Ashley Barlow, PharmD (MD Anderson Cancer Center) & Brooke Barlow, PharmD (University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center) - @theABofPharmaC and PGY2 Pharmacy Practice Residents - talk to us about developing their professional brand using Twitter and why creating an online presence can help you achieve your career goals.

Key Lessons:

  • Social media, especially Twitter, has become an increasingly important forum for connecting with professional colleagues and engaging in dialog about cutting edge issues that impact patient care and pharmacy practice.
  • To get started, read this brief article by Robert Pugliese entitled How Twitter Has Made Me a Better Pharmacist.
  • Consider maintaining separate professional and personal social media accounts.
  • Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the most commonly used social media platforms for professional networking purposes.
  • Everyone should purposefully develop their professional brand online.  Your digital footprint ultimately reflects your reputation.
  • Your online persona is perhaps the first and most important impression that others with have of you.
  • Think about the ABCDEs of your social media presence. A - align your social media with your professional goals.  B - build your profile with a professional bio and photo.  C - curate the content you find interesting and important.  D - define your audience.  E - engage in conversations ... be sure to like, comment, and retweet!
  • Your online network through social media can lead to many new opportunities.

Get the Social Media Infographic by Ashley and Brooke Barlow (@theABofPharmaC)

Social Media to Make Professional Connections (I)

Social Media to Make Professional Connections (I)

June 3, 2020

Dave L. Dixon, PharmD, BCACP, BCPS, CDE, CLS  - Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy and - Brent N. Reed, PharmD, BCPS, BCCP  - University of Maryland School of Pharmacy - talk with us about using social media for professional development and staying current with the latest evidence to support your practice.

Key Lessons:

  • Social media includes a wide range of online applications intended to interact with other users in a public setting.
  • Social media, especially Twitter, has become an increasingly important forum for connecting with professional colleagues and engaging in dialog about cutting edge issues that impact patient care and pharmacy practice.
  • Social media use should be done in a systematic, thoughtful way - you need to decide what your goals are, who to follow, and how frequently to check your social media feeds.
  • Being a passive recipient of social media posts (aka being a "lurker") is a great way to get started but eventually, you may wish to share and comment on content you find valuable ... as well as create your own original content.
  • Learning how to curate your social media feed can help prevent information overload.
  • Following a professional conference (and the people attending) on Twitter can enhance the conference experience and enable those who are not able to attend the conference to learn about what's happening.
  • Engaging in social media can be personally and professionally rewarding.  Share your personality!  It should be fun.

Get the Social Media Infographic by Ashley and Brooke Barlow (@theABofPharmaC)

Expanding the Frontiers of Pharmacy Practice (III)

Expanding the Frontiers of Pharmacy Practice (III)

May 5, 2020

Casey Tak, PhD, MPH - University of North Carolina Eschelman School of Pharmacy and - Karen Gunning, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP - University of Utah College of Pharmacy - talk with us about hormonal contraception and how pharmacists in community and ambulatory care settings can increase women's access to care.

Key Lessons:

  • A variety of contraceptive methods have been available through pharmacies for decades but many states now permit pharmacists to directly "provide" hormonal contraception without a prescription.
  • A state-wide standing order is the most common mechanism for authorizing pharmacists to provide hormonal contraception directly to patients, but state laws and regulations vary.
  • The CDC Guidance for Healthcare Providers - US Medical Eligibility Criteria do not require a woman to have a pelvic exam prior to receiving hormonal contraception. The pharmacist needs to ask about and document the patient's medical and medication history, take the patient's blood pressure, and inquire about contraceptive preferences before providing hormonal contraception.
  • Some states require pharmacists to refer patients to a primary care provider to receive recommended preventive care, such as pelvic exams, breast exams, and Pap smears.  Even when this is not required by state law, it's a best practice to ensure all women are receiving appropriate health maintenance services.
  • Insurance coverage for pharmacist-provided hormonal contraception is not universal - many private insurance plans do not cover the cost of hormonal contraception or compensate for the pharmacist's time.  However, Medicaid programs often do (varies by state).
  • Increasing access to hormonal contraception is good public policy because it can positively impact Medicaid costs by reducing unintended pregnancies, high-risk pregnancies, and infant mortality.
  • Student pharmacists can (and have) played an important role in advocating for pharmacist-provided hormonal contraction.
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