Blogs

Books Worth Considering

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Shana Lebowitz’s 7 books that will change the way you work in 2017 (www.businessinsider.com) What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter Is geared toward workers looking to advance to the next stage in their careers. The authors also offer a number of necessary wake-up calls — like the fact that it matters more what other people think of you than what you think of you. And that asking your team for "feedforward," or suggestions for the future, is just as important as soliciting feedback. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg He draws on stories from Disney, Google teams,...
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As a fourth year pharmacy student, I believed I was prepared for the residency application process. I attended my school of pharmacy’s residency interest group meetings, listened to advice from my ASHP advisor, reviewed resources on the ASHP website, and sought advice from students who had completed the process in previous years. I narrowed down the list of programs I wanted to apply to, spoke with residents and residency program directors of each prospective program at the residency showcase during the Midyear Clinical Meeting in December, carefully selected my recommendation writers, and submitted my residency applications through the Pharmacy Online...
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Being Successful-Resources

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As I think back over my almost 50 year pharmacy career I realize how much I have learned from other successful people. Things that rarely you find in books and programs. Is it not really the attitudes, approaches, flexibility, relationships, etc. that allow you to maximize your expertise and have a satisfying life and career? To this day I frequently ask myself what would Clif Latiolais, Larry Shoup, Marva Tschampel, Marialice Bennett, Bill Miller, Diane Gary and others from Ohio State do in the situation I find myself in as the best thing I ever did was to do the Ohio State residency and masters degree program. I then was fortunate to be hired at the University...
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Ionsys: Disposal System

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I was hoping to gain some insight from institutions that are using Ionsys (fentanyl iontophoretic transdermal system). Are there any institutions that have added this medication device to the formulary and, if so, what if your best practice for disposal? Thank you.
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ASHP is an organization that represents pharmacists in acute and ambulatory settings. This organization offers an array of resources that assist students, residents, and practicing pharmacists with career development. One resource that ASHP offers is called the Mentor Match. The Mentor Match is a service that supports the professional development needs of ASHP members. Last year, I reached out to a practicing pharmacist through Mentor Match. My mentor was extremely friendly and offered me great advice and access to multiple opportunities. Mentor Match is a phenomenal program that has developed me professionally and directly exposed me to opportunities such...
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February brings around a very stressful time for a lot of P4 students: interview season. Residency applications were due at the beginning of January, and we've heard from most of our programs, either in a positive or negative way. If you are anything like me (and a lot of my friends), the past month was pretty rough. A lot of people I know (me included) applied to a lot of programs and got a lot of denial emails. And I'm sure most of us have at least one friend who got every single interview they applied for, which brings about mixed feelings. Like you want to be happy for them, but at the same time, you are so frustrated that you want to cry. I feel you!...
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Hi Everyone! It's hard to believe that February is almost here! With the end of another month comes another blog post (and one step closer to Spring). I was able to finish up the second portion of the 2016 Pharmacotherapy Core Therapeutic Module, which covered cardiac arrhythmias and advanced cardiac life support. This is definitely not something I do every day in clinical practice, so it was a good area to review. The module used patient cases to cover a variety of topics, including: Rate vs rhythm control in atrial fibrillation (and the various agents available to use) Anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation Treatment of Afib with RVR...
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The End is the Beginning

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With the craziness of Midyear, the holidays, and my 52 hikes in 2016 campaign, I finally found time to sit down and write my very last blog post of my BCPS Ambassadorship (is that a word?). I recently completed the Selected Topics on Infectious Disease section in the 2016 Pharmacotherapy Core Therapeutics Module. It is an hour and 45 minutes slide set presentation with speaker audio, covering an alphabet soup of infectious disease conditions (STDs, SSTIs, UTIs, URIs, CDI), as well as endocarditis and meningitis. The focus of the module is using case based patient scenarios to choose empiric therapy in accordance with national guideline recommendations...
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I see a lot of discussion in various locations about interoperability. The vast majority of that discussion appears to presume that our problem is simply the unwillingness of information systems vendors to participate in data sharing. It seems to presume that all healthcare data is of impeccable quality. I think the problem is more complicated than that. While there can be no doubt that people perceive both business and regulatory issues with sharing health data, let's pretend for a moment that those can be overcome (because they can). Where does that leave us? I enjoy a good relationship with my personal physician; she is an excellent diagnostician with...
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Value Your Voice

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As a student, we often forget the power of our voice in shaping the pharmacy profession. It is easy to focus on classroom assignments and exams, the daily responsibilities of rotations, and assigned projects. Whether you are in the early years of pharmacy school or finishing rotations, it is important to remember the value of your voice. Within the classroom and pharmacy school setting, voicing your opinion benefits school of pharmacy faculty, fellow students, and, most importantly, yourself. Faculty members and pharmacy school staff members rely on student input to determine what is important to students and to see if current resources and teaching...
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When your SSHP chapter has been around at your school for some time it can be challenging thinking of new ideas to keep members engaged. One program that we started about six months ago that has received a lot of positive feedback from our members is a mentoring program with our city’s ASHP chapter. In this program, our student members are paired with a local health-system pharmacist who serves as their mentor. In order to get this program started we reached out to the leaders of our local affiliate chapter to see if they were interested in having their members become mentors for students. We then had our members who wanted to participate fill out...
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Roger Jones in Storytelling: More Than a Presentation Tool provides the following advice. Stories make strategy come to life as we all love a good story. Perhaps it is the suspense and rollercoaster of emotions as we can’t wait to see what happens next. Think about how to wrap facts in a story narrative to make them more memorable. As leaders and especially as pharmacists we are comfortable using logic however the wise use of stories can engage your stakeholders emotionally, change attitudes and behaviors to make change happen. Think of it as lifting your plans/vision off the page so people can relate and embrace them. ...
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Preforming Medication Reconciliation: The In’s and Out’s to Making It Successful While on one of my rotations, transitions of care was at the forefront of our duties for the unit. One of the biggest topics and skills we practiced as students was performing a proper medication reconciliation. I thought it would be useful to lay out some steps and helpful hints at making this successful! [NB. This is more from the inpatient perspective] So what exactly is medication reconciliation ? Medication Reconciliation or “Med Rec” is the process of creating the most accurate list of all medications a patient is taking, comparing the...
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During the Midyear meeting in Las Vegas, the Home Infusion SAG met to dscuss current issues and network with others in home infusion. The group was international and included practitioners from hospital based infusion companies, national companies, industry and residents in programs in these settings. The major topic was the 21 st Century Cures Act which passed while we were at the meeting. This will affect everyone who was in attendance especially with the reimbursement of the Medicare Part B drugs. The change to ASP pricing with no service fee will severely impact the ability of home infusion companies to provide patients with these therapies (e.g. inotrope...
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At a recent happy hour, a young colleague described a situation where several staff in her area did their jobs well but were not being promoted. This led to a very interesting discussion among several of us more “senior” folks at the table and a few of our younger colleagues. I thought I would reflect a little of that discussion here. When I was younger I too thought that the key to my getting ahead was doing my current job well. But years of experience and several great mentors taught me that doing my current job well was only the first rung of the ladder to success. To move forward in my career I needed to prepare myself for what lies ahead....
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“Health care is changing rapidly” seems like the new mantra for the pharmacy profession. Pharmacists are life-long learners, since most states requiring continuing education, but sometimes the lessons that may serve you best aren’t found in an article or book. Sometimes, in order to grow to new heights, you may have to uproot yourself and put down in brand new soil. “Nobody said life would be easy,” was an oft repeated quote from my mother--that always coincided with me whining about something trivial. As always, my Mom was right; life isn’t easy, and neither is change. Most people don’t like to grow until forced...
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21 Encouraging Quotes When You’re Sick and Tired of Struggling by Elle Sommer (livepurposefullynow.com). A method of shifting you and your peoples’ thinking. “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves” James Barrier “It is time for all of us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever-the one who recognizes the challenges and does something about it” Vince Lombardi “The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself-the invisible battles inside all of us-that's where its at” Jesse Owens “Some luck lies in not...
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It is with great pleasure that I can announce that on Thursday evening, Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Robert Casey (D-Pa.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), along with 24 other original co-sponsors, reintroduced the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (S. 109) . This legislation is the same as last year’s provider status bill, with the exception of the new bill number, S. 109. This is significant not only because of the quick timing of the reintroduction, but also because of the high number of Senators who have signed on as original co-sponsors. The Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition (PAPCC), in which ASHP serves...
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As we approach the presidential inauguration I am reminded of one of the most famous and often quoted inaugural addresses. On January 20, 1961 John Fitzgerald Kennedy challenged his fellow Americans to “…ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” This speech was made more than a decade before my birth so I was curious to learn more about the context of the speech. (You can watch the address in its entirety on YouTube if you are interested.) There are references to the cold war and the plans for space exploration which may not resonate today, but the same cannot be said for the call to action that...
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At What Cost?

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Pharmacy management at many hospitals was recently asked to prepare for the arrival of nusinersen for treatment of spinal muscular atrophy for patients. I had no idea what this drug was (or how to pronounce it) and then I started to receive emails on a listerv from other pediatric institutions discussing how they were going to prepare for the new drug. At that point I got interested in learning a little more. Here's some background for you... "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nusinersen under Priority Review for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in pediatric and adult patients. Nusinersen is the first and only treatment...
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