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How to increase awareness and understanding of the PPMI/PAI among student colleagues

By Brian Hancock posted 04-03-2016 11:55


Just as we’ve all heard, if isn’t broke, don’t fix it. At the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, my SSHP chapter takes great pride in the annual ASHP Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI) video competition. Being a previous winner of the prestigious national award ourselves, we understand what is necessary to appropriately convey the message to others in the profession.

For my student colleagues who are unaware, it is vital for me to demonstrate the core values of the PPMI. Overall, the initiative seeks to improve outcomes by modifying how pharmacists care for patients. This is accomplished by authorizing members of the pharmacy team to take responsibility for medication-use outcomes. I believe many times this definition gets misinterpreted and allows pharmacy technicians and interns to be underutilized and feel somewhat insignificant. The aforementioned individuals are members of an institutions pharmacy team and inevitably play a critical role in improving medication-use outcomes. When I discuss the purpose of PPMI to students and faculty at my school of pharmacy, I ensure this information is clearly understood.

Furthermore, it is crucial that members of our profession understand that in order to maximize the role of the pharmacist in patient care, we must help integrate a more effective health-care team. When I attended the 2015 ASHP Annual Summer Meeting in Denver, Colorado I had the privilege of learning a unique definition of ‘clinical pharmacy’. Many times, it is common for one to associate the term ‘clinical’ with an individual who works in a hospital on a health-care team. The gentleman at the meeting debated this theory and made it clear that each and every pharmacist is actually a clinical pharmacist. He elaborated on how being employed in a hospital does not signify one as clinical, but the effort made toward being part of the health-care team is what truly makes one clinical. If we think about the various pharmacy settings such as independent stores, corporate companies and ambulatory care clinics just to name a few, we quickly realize that the interaction with other members of health-care is unanimous. Teamwork is not only helpful; it’s essential and it’s everywhere. Each member of our profession utilizes the assistance of others and one of my objectives as a student pharmacist is to help increase the awareness and importance of this concept.

  I have shared this message with hundreds of students, technicians, and pharmacists along my journey.  Although it can be presented in many ways, I have personally applied distinct methods to increase the involvement of PPMI at the local, state, and national levels. For example, during my second year of pharmacy school, I had the privilege of initiating an inter-professional competition between the Physician Assistant and Pharmacy programs at the University of Charleston. Those who know me well will attest that I thrive on finding unique ways to involve competition and collaboration. I have spoken with student pharmacists from many other schools and have encouraged them to apply this method for increasing involvement at the local level in their communities and thus far, the results have been astounding.

Moreover, I was fortunate enough to speak about the development of this competition and a collaborative clinical course at a recent APhA-ASP MidYear Meeting where I was the chapter delegate representing my school. For my proposal, I acknowledged the significance of interaction and work with students of other professions at an early stage in their careers. It was very rewarding to receive positive feedback from a crowd of roughly 1,000 pharmacy students from around our eastern region and I have encouraged many other schools to employ this method into their programs as well. For any disease state or patient condition, we can always benefit and learn from other healthcare professionals and I have made it a priority to demonstrate that at the local, state, and national level.

  To increase awareness of the PPMI and profession of pharmacy in general, I have made vast efforts to expand my communication abilities by reaching out at the national level. I have been fortunate to represent students across the nation with my position as Student-at-Large for the ASPH-PAC. With this opportunity, I have been diligent in advocating for the profession of pharmacy and helping others learn how to more effectively advocate. Through my interactions with members of Congress, I have truly demonstrated what pharmacists can do to help improve patient outcomes and I intend to help spread the message even more as I progress through my career. 

#PPMI #Leadership #BestPractices