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why do we say utilize?

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OK... this is a (thankfully short) rant... I was just reading an article in Informatics Interchange today, and ran up against one of my pet peeves, which is the way we butcher the English language. The word in question, "utilize", appears quite often in our writing (thankfully less so in our speaking), and is a synonym for the simpler, more common, and easier-to-read word "use". It conveys no connotative or denotative meaning other than that conveyed by "use". So why employ it? I understand the use of the word "utility"; it either means "easy to use" (as in "that tool has great utility") or a publicly available service (as in, "electricity is an example of ...
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I am very happy to inform you of the recent unanimous decision by the ASHP Board of Directors to create a new ASHP Pharmacy Technician Forum ! ASHP has always had a pharmacy technician membership category, and we currently have many pharmacy technician members. However, our goal for the Pharmacy Technician Forum is to create a much more well-defined membership home for pharmacy technicians, which provides enhanced educational, training, and career opportunities for a very important segment of our pharmacy workforce. I think we all agree that pharmacy technicians are one of the cornerstones supporting the advancement of pharmacy practice and the safe use ...
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Gender Science

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The September 2017 issue of Scientific American is The New Science of Sex and Gender. These are the specific articles, which are fascinating to read.   Promiscuous Men, Chaste Women and Other Gender Myths False: behavioral differences between the sexes are innate an immutable Is There a “Female” Brain? A debate is raging over whether women and men have meaningful different brains When Sex and Gender Collide Many transgender children show surprisingly firm identities at young ages Beyond XX and YY A host of factors into whether someone is female, male or somewhere in between Not Just ...
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I read with interest the blogs by Anderegg and Woo about the need for interoperability and standards to permit better specialty pharmacy operations. I agree wholeheartedly about the need to have standards, and to support the standards that we have. While their emphasis appears primarily to be on clinical data, I would like to advocate for better standardization of operational data . Indeed, as I will further explain, it is my assertion that we as a profession have not exactly stepped up to the plate to advocate for our operational needs in the HL7 arena. A very brief HL7 tutorial for those who may see it as voodoo: HL7 is a syntax standard; it describes ...
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It has been an extremely difficult time with a series of major natural disasters that have had a profound impact on the lives of so many people. The severe devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the effect it has had on our fellow citizens across the entire island have been horrific. The idea of not having electricity, clean water, housing, and other basic infrastructure is difficult to comprehend, especially when considering how our pharmacist colleagues and other members of the interprofessional team are at the same time struggling to provide patient care. Immediately after the hurricane struck Puerto Rico, ASHP reached out to our affiliate, ...
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​Dear Colleagues, I had the privilege of participating in the 2017 Policy Week alongside pharmacy leaders across the nation. One session that particularly sparked my interest was the Joint Council and Commission Meeting on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience . I was pleased to learn ASHP joined the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience. In particular, Christina Martin, Director of Membership Forums at ASHP, and Anna Dopp, Director Clinical Guidelines and Quality Improvement at ASHP, are members of the Conceptual Model Working Group (discussed below). The goals of the collaborative are to (1) assess and ...
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​Jack Nicolson’s (or Col Jessup’s) classic line in the movie A Few Good Men provides insights into leadership. In the movie, Tom Cruise (Lieutenant Kaffee) presses Col Jessup during testimony indicating he wants the “the truth” and his angry reply dismisses Lieutenant Kaffee’s request. The story line of the movie revolves around leadership styles and the death of a young Marine who is hazed at the direction of a senior officer. My last blog discussed the toxic effects of bullying in the workplace, but in this post I’d like to focus on the myth of “the truth”. In today’s era of “fake news” and heated political rhetoric it is increasingly evident that we ...
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​​In a rapidly evolving healthcare environment, pharmacists working in both acute and ambulatory settings must strive to adopt a future-focused mindset to ensure medication use will be optimal, safe, and effective for all people all of the time. Pharmacy leaders spanning the nation must constantly seek a competitive advantage without disrupting daily operations such as coming to consensus on best practice strategies for practice advancement. With the advent of new technologies and automation, along with laws and regulations supporting pharmacists as direct patient care roles, pharmacists have the platform to capitalize on opportunities to advance patient care. ...
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​In a rapidly evolving healthcare environment, pharmacists working in both acute and ambulatory settings must strive to adopt a future-focused mindset to ensure medication use will be optimal, safe, and effective for all people all of the time. Pharmacy leaders spanning the nation must constantly seek a competitive advantage without disrupting daily operations such as coming to consensus on best practice strategies for practice advancement. With the advent of new technologies and automation, along with laws and regulations supporting pharmacists as direct patient care roles, pharmacists have the platform to capitalize on opportunities to advance patient care. ...
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Three Ways for Pharmacists to Engage Student Pharmacists with the Practice Advancement Initiative (PAI) Laura Nice, Pharm.D. Candidate 2018, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) Chances are you interact with student pharmacists at some level in your career, whether you are in academia, serve as a preceptor, or see student pharmacists at professional organization meetings.  As a fourth year student pharmacist at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), I have been very fortunate to have wonderful mentors who have helped develop my interest in pharmacy practice advancement.  Here are three things that I have found most helpful during my pharmacy ...
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​ When I joined the diabetes team at Cleveland Clinic, I was excited about all of the technology including instant glucometer downloads, insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGM). The other diabetes educators and I felt passionate that CGM is a great educational tool for patients to see in real time how food, medications, physical activity and stress affect their blood glucose levels. It was also apparent that the technology was underutilized at our Diabetes Center as we only had 1 nurse practitioner doing the interpretations. I learned how to use this new technology and quickly discovered that interpreting the data was all about understanding ...
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Working With Generation Z

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David Stillman and Jonah Stillman in Gen Z @ Work How the Next Generation is Transforming the Workplace shares the following from research they have conducted. The whole book is worth a read as this is just some of the key concepts. 47% of the Millennials are now moms/dads and not kids anymore Gem Z was born 1995-2012 and hence just entering the workforce and college students. This generation has 72.8 million folks and are not at all like the millennials Generations at work 75 million Traditionalist s pre 1946 80 million Baby Boomers 1946-1964 60 million Generation X 1965-1979 82 million Millennials 1980-1994 ( Y-Sizing Your ...
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Dear Colleagues, The aftermath and ongoing effects of Hurricane Harvey have been truly devastating to many of the citizens of the Gulf Coast of Texas. I know that we are all extending our heartfelt sympathies and concern for the families, friends, and communities impacted by this devastating event.  We at ASHP have been in ongoing contact with ASHP affiliate the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists (TSHP). We are also hearing directly from our members in Texas, some of whom have been directly affected by this catastrophic event. The stories are both frightening and compelling, including from members who have continued to provide round-the-clock care ...
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Leadership Training

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I am beginning as to teach as primary faculty my Pharmacy Leadership Academy (PLA) six week course Leadership Influence: Maximizing Yours and Developing Others. Jennifer Tryon, Kate Farthing and Sam Calabrese assist me. We have over 90 participants and this is the tenth year of this totally online program offered by the ASHP Foundation. We have over 600 graduates (admin residents, aspiring leaders, current middle managers, DOP/COP) who now are designated as DPLA (Diplomat). Many have gone on to earn an on-line Master’s Degree as they can transfer PLA credit. The PLA is comprised of 7 six week courses and begins each July. Detailed information can be found ...
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I am honored to have the privilege of writing this message to you in celebration of ASHP’s 75th anniversary. On this day in 1942, ASHP was founded by an exceptional group of leaders who envisioned a future where pharmacists would be the medication therapy experts on what we now refer to as the interprofessional patient care team. In reflecting on the past 75 years, it is clear that ASHP and its exceptional members created a future that far exceeded the expectations of our visionary founders. Over the course of 75 years, ASHP has been a leader in: Conceptualizing and advancing pharmacy as a clinical profession. Establishing standards of practice. ...
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Picking the right residency

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Picking the right residency Megan Sandgren, Norm Fenn, Valerie Nolt, Krutika Mediwala Residency is a highly competitive, detailed and challenging process designed to create independent pharmacy practitioners who can advance the dynamic profession and provide direct patient care. 1  National Matching Service results demonstrate continued demand for this form of specialized training with nearly 3,500 post-graduate year 1 (PGY-1) and over 1,000 post-graduate year 2 (PGY-2) positions filled in 2017; a 36% increase in residency positions over the past five years. 2  The decision to complete a residency may occur at any point during your professional ...
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Hi everyone! As a practicing informatics pharmacist, I frequently get questions from students about the 'day in the life' of an informatics pharmacist. In an effort to be proactive, I've started a YouTube channel that highlights some of the aspects of the field. In my most recent video, I host a discussion with 3 of my fellow colleagues who have all completed a PGY-2 in Pharmacy Informatics. I wanted to share this video along with a few other videos that I think may be helpful. Please let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions! A Day in the Life of an Informatics Pharmacist PGY-2 Pharmacy Informatics Experience | Interview with Sam ...
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As part of ASHP’s yearlong celebration of our 75th anniversary, we are recognizing our three former Chief Executive Officers — Drs. Henri R. Manasse, Jr. , Joseph A. Oddis , and Gloria N. Francke —who have helped shaped ASHP into the remarkable organization it is today. It is with great pleasure that I dedicate this blog to Dr. Gloria Niemeyer Francke, an icon in American pharmacy, whose impact throughout the profession and its professional organizations stands the test of time. Dr. Francke was a pioneer in hospital pharmacy and her contributions to ASHP’s direction, growth, and success are invaluable. In 1950, Dr. Francke became ASHP’s first Chief ...
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software configuration

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On the weekend before the July 4th holiday, one of our air conditioners (the one for the master suite) went out. Because we were expecting guests, and 90+ o F weather, this occasioned an emergency (and therefore expensive) service call to get things back into working condition. It turned out that our fan motor was shutting down intermittently, and could go out completely at any time, so I elected to have a "rescue" motor installed so that we would have AC over the long weekend. This, of course, required some jury-rigging of the motor circuitry during the installation but, long story short, the technician left having pronounced the system to be in working order. ...
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As the specialty pharmacy boom continues to grow, the need for effective reporting processes and systems becomes imperative within a healthcare organization. As a general term, “specialty pharmacy” can capture a variety of disease states and medication classes. Some of the disease states most commonly associated with specialty pharmacy include Cystic Fibrosis, Hepatitis C, HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, Oncology, and Transplantation. Due to the high costs of these medications, there can be increased demands for medication utilization data from both inside and outside of your organization. In addition to new medications, the electronic health record (EHR) vendor landscape ...
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