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Significant Changes Ahead for ASHP Residency Accreditation

By Paul Abramowitz posted 07-30-2014 15:04

I would like to update you on several initiatives in pharmacy residency accreditation that are underway. We are working on improving the residency accreditation process. This includes streamlining accreditation standards, taking a new look at how accreditation site visits are structured, and making improvements to our electronic systems.

Residency sites can expect to see substantial changes in the PGY1 accreditation standard, making the standard more relevant to pharmacy practice today and in the future. The new draft simplifies and reduces the number of goals and objectives to be achieved. While the current standard has a total of 23 goals and 66 objectives, the new draft standard has 9 goals and 26 objectives. With the new standard, the value and functionality of the Residency Learning System (RLS) will be re-assessed, and a decision will be made regarding its future use. The Commission on Credentialing and the Accreditation Services staff are working to finalize this draft, and we hope to have the document reviewed by the Board of Directors in September.

In addition to this new standard and in response to many who have provided comments regarding the residency survey process, we are initiating a comprehensive review of our accreditation survey process. This review will be led by ASHP Vice President for Accreditation Services, Janet Silvester, along with the Commission on Credentialing. This comprehensive review will include input from residency preceptors and program directors. We want to ensure an effective and efficient program review process for sites, preceptors, residents, and surveyors. Most importantly, the accreditation process should have a strong focus on outcomes of the residency learning experience and of the patient care delivered.

I am also happy to report that our Accreditation Services Office will be changing to meet additional demands with the incorporation of new automation and technology applied to the accreditation process. This will include the pre-survey self-assessment, the survey report, and electronic transfer of most, if not all, documents. These changes will be progressively implemented with the new standard.

ResiTrak and PHORCAS (Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service) are both going to change notably as well. ResiTrak is being redesigned based on recommendations from the ResiTrak users group, and PHORCAS will gain new functionality to assist programs and applicants in the pre- and post-match process. ASHP is working diligently to ensure additional consistency across all of our surveyor staff. Thus, we will be reviewing the residency accreditation survey process to ensure that it contributes to optimal residency training, promotes positive outcomes of care, and is effective and efficient.

Lastly, I would like to update you on progress in our ability to meet our goal of providing residency training for all new graduates who provide direct patient care by the year 2020. One current barrier to this vision is the gap between residency applicants and available positions. Even though nearly 1,000 new residency positions were added in the last three years, in 2014 we had approximately 1,700 applicants who did not match. We will continue to focus on expanding residency capacity and look at enhanced models for residency training to assist sites in starting new programs and expanding existing ones. This applies to both PGY1 and PGY2 specialty training. Currently, we have 1,054 PGY1 programs and 660 PGY2 specialty programs, which have more than 3,600 positions available.

I hope that these and other planned changes are welcome advancements. Please do not hesitate to contact Janet Silvester, or members of the Accreditation Staff or Commission on Credentialing with your additional thoughts and ideas.

Remember, our National Pharmacy Preceptors Conference will be held on August 20-22, 2014 in Washington, D.C., and we hope to see you there!



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08-01-2014 16:08

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. We’ve seen an increase in the demand for residency positions by students: nearly 30 percent of recent grads are seeking residencies up from 25 percent just a few years ago. Our data also suggests that the demand is growing for residency trained pharmacists in both ambulatory and acute care settings. This is driven by the increasing complexity of medication therapy, expanding opportunities for pharmacists to provide patient care in areas such as emergency departments and ambulatory clinics, and the evolution of the practice model, with its focus on interdisciplinary team-based care. We believe that helping to meet the demand for new residencies well positions pharmacists to continue to take on expanding roles in healthcare now and in the future.

08-01-2014 12:40

Michael, You may have a valid point. Do we have data to support or refute the "need" for advanced practitioners?
By this I mean the "desire" to hire residency trained pharmacists. Most readers would agree that the health of the population more than supports the need for such training. However, without employment options after completion, the investment is not worth the cost.

08-01-2014 12:25

Excellent plan. Thanks for sharing with all the members.

07-31-2014 14:35

I would question the real need for additional residency slots. If the shortfall in residency positions is related to the current over-supply of new pharmacy school graduates then there is no reason to artificially create an equal over-supply of residency trained health system staff. These training positions come at a cost. However, if indeed there are not enough residency trained pharmacists to fill the current vacancies in our health care systems, then I WOULD support an increase. However, my perception is that our current new residency graduates are having difficulty landing positions that their training has prepared them for. Thus I don't see the NEED versus the DESIRE.