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Who am I: Greetings, Allow me to introduce myself. I am Khaznah Alshammari, an international student from Saudi Arabia. I am pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. My academic journey began with graduating from a Doctor of Pharmacy program in Saudi Arabia and becoming a Teaching Assistant at the University of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, I secured a scholarship through employment, enabling me to further my education in the United States. I will start my PGY1 pharmacy residency journey this year at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. I am engaged with ASHP through the ASHP Pharmacy ...
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I got an email from Atlassian today that contained a link to a white paper on digital transformation entitled “ Unblurring the lines of a digital transformation: Knowing what something is not is as important as knowing what it is ”. It’s a bit of an infomercial, but it made three points, the first of which really hit home with me, because I have run into it so often. “Bringing in new technology to simplify and speed up work, or just moving to the cloud is not a digital transformation. Ask yourself, what are you transforming? You might be optimizing your current practice, but your methodologies have not changed.” Far too many times, I have seen technology ...
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Ching Nung “Selina” Lin, Candidate for Doctor of Pharmacy '25, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Boston Nancy Yousry, Candidate for Doctor of Pharmacy ‘24, St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Chinemerem Opara, Candidate for Doctor of Pharmacy ‘24, The University of North Texas Health Science Center College of Pharmacy Tiffany Dinh, Candidate for Doctor of Pharmacy ‘24, The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy Ching Nung “Selina” Lin, Nancy Yousry, and Chinemerem Opara are committee members with the ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum’s (PSF) Advancement of Professional Practice Advisory Group (APPAG). Tiffany ...
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I was reflecting yesterday that somehow, in the past year, I became a poly-pharmacy patient. How did this happen? A broken system. It's not a secret that I have allergies, asthma, and eczema. The classic triad has tested my patience more and more over the past several years and, unfortunately, the traditional treatment options have failed. That has led to using newer, novel therapies which are typically considered "specialty" or "third/fourth tier" from insurance. One is even a topical compound. What does this look like? - Topical item #1 from Pharmacy A - Topical item #2 from Pharmacy B - Topical compound from Pharmacy C - Nasal spray from Pharmacy ...
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Even in retirement I have been able to preserve subscription to Becker's and saw an article today describing statistics around enrollment in nursing schools post pandemic. The short story is that, while enrollment in entry-level Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) has increased slightly from 2022 to 2023, enrollment in RN-to-BSN programs has declined by 10%, and enrollment in advanced degree programs has also declined. The other academic program that saw an slight increase was for Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, which is intended to prepare post-masters nurses for leadership and advanced clinical roles (I admit that I had to look this one up). ...
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While examples of clinical rotations abound, it is important to evaluate how non-clinical rotations like medical writing enrich a residency program. In a 2014 article, Brown and colleagues provide valuable insights and practical tips on the implementation of a medical writing rotation. 1 This article coupled with prior firsthand experience completing Dr. Brown’s rotation provided the inspiration for piloting a medical writing rotation at our institution. We hope this post will inspire others to consider a medical writing rotation within their pharmacy residency programs! A medical writing rotation during a post-graduate pharmacy residency program introduces ...
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I read an interesting article in Beckers this morning about a Harvard Business Review questionnaire in which 43% of the respondents (characterized as 757 members of the Harvard Business Review audience who work in healthcare) said that “disconnected or incompatible systems” are the biggest hurdles to becoming more data driven. While this is inarguably true, at least in our pharmacy world, that statement implies that resolving the connectivity problems would just fix things. My experience has been that this is not true; that there is still a lot of data cleanup and governance work ahead once the “data pipeline” has been opened. A number of these disconnected ...
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I had a chance to view an article by Bastow and Greszler in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education about the value of including exposure to Industrial Medical Affairs in pharmacy education and residencies. It is gratifying to see discussion of industrial practice as something other than "going to the dark side". I am grateful both to Samantha and Craig for their excellent article, and to the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education for publishing it. It is important to understand that Medical Affairs practice exists because regulatory bodies need a group of professionals and scientists within the pharmaceutical and medical device industries ...
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Tiffany Dinh is a fourth-year pharmacy student from The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy. She is currently completing an APPE rotation with ASHP, focusing on national association management and working on projects related to the Innovation Center. As a student who began pharmacy school at the height of the pandemic, she is intrigued by the pivotal role of technology in shaping modern healthcare practices. Recognizing the importance of staying on top of emerging advancements in the field, she aims to share her research findings with fellow peers and colleagues from a student’s perspective : The ...
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Today (7/21/2023) I read an article in Beckers regarding research that indicates charging patients for sending email to physicians has not decreased the physician email burden. According to this article, the burden of emails from patients on physicians through their practice portals has increased 50% after the pandemic. The article further states that those physicians who receive a lot of emails feel burned out and are thinking about leaving their profession. This got me to wondering what that burden tells us and makes me wonder what (other than charging the patient) might help alleviate this burden. I find myself wondering: · Does this ...
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I don’t write about clinical topics very often, but I ran across an article in the ASHP Daily Briefing I got this morning that made me stop and think. It was an article in JAMA Network Open entitled Prevalence of Use of Potentially Inappropriate Medications Among Older Adults Worldwide . What originally piqued my interest was that this article was about finding the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) in senior citizens (of which I am a member) who were treated in hospital outpatient departments (of which I am not a member). They concluded that the use of potentially inappropriate medications was increasing among the elderly population ...
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I was reading my daily digest of things from Becker's this morning when I came across an article entitled " 75 hospital and health system chief pharmacy officers to know | 2024 ". I read through this list with great interest. There were a number that I know; there were a number that I do not know. There were a few surprises. There were some old friends. Congratulations to each and every pharmacy executive on this list. There were names I was surprised not to see. One wonders how this list was chosen. The list explicitly claims to not be exhaustive but I can think of some that were surprising omissions. Perhaps ASHP would consider producing a more inclusive ...
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Many ASHP members will be interested in a novel and engaging podcast that shows how selections from the humanities (e.g., literature, films, works of art) can be applied in health professional education and practice. Launched in 2022, “The Clinic & The Person” is narrated by the podcast’s creators, J. Russell Teagarden and Daniel Albrant. Teagarden came to his interest in applying insights from the humanities to biomedicine after decades in clinical pharmacy practice and research. Albrant had a long career in clinical pharmacy practice before preparing for the ministry and becoming a pastor. The podcast’s intended audience includes healthcare practitioners, ...
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Retirement

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I am writing this blog mid-December. I am scheduled to retire in early January. I have scheduled this blog to post the day after I retire. If one thinks of life as an ocean voyage, at 74 I can now see the oncoming shore that is the end of that voyage. It won't be tomorrow, but it becomes more certain with each passing day, and has spurred me to seriously consider how I will spend my remaining time on this earth. Retirement seems to be the correct choice. Next year will mark 50 years since I graduated from Pharmacy School, and 50 years since I joined ASHP. I must confess that I approach retirement with some anxiety. I am one of those people who succumbed ...
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I recently reviewed a summary article entitled How are other systems breaking down data silos? 35 leaders share . What I found most interesting were the expressed notions of why data silos exist and what these leaders are doing about them. A lot (but not all) of the responses focused on infrastructure issues to get data to be consistent and shared more broadly. Several spoke of cultural changes being necessary to overcome those silos. This caused me to think about our practice in health-system pharmacy, how we wind up with our own data silos, and how we get past them (or do not). Pharmacy is, perhaps, unique in the acute care world in that we tend to operate ...
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Hello Everyone, I am posting notes our outstanding facilitators Jill Robke, Melissa Ruble, and Jared Sheley took at the Roundtable Session on IPE at the Midyear Clinical Meeting. Please pardon the formatting. Our outline is not pasting nicely into Connect. I am happy to e-mail notes to anyone interested. Interprofessional Education (IPE) Resources and Best Practices 1. Models of IPE education in experiential and didactic curricula a. What are you doing for IPE in the experiential setting? i. Pre-specified days for IPE experiential day (P4s are excused from rotation for ...
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When the AI is wrong

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Today (6/15/2023) I read an article in Beckers regarding a case in which a nurse felt compelled to draw blood on a leukemic patient because the AI came to the conclusion that the patient might be septic even though they disagreed. The nurse felt that the AI did not understand the impact leukemia might have on a patient’s presentation or on the risk of drawing blood. The blood was drawn, that patient was not septic, and, thankfully, the patient did not acquire an infection. The article goes on to note a couple of other things: Although the organization indicated that the ultimate decision belongs to the physician and the nurse, caregivers may feel ...
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I read two interesting articles today: one about why healthcare information exchanges (HIE’s) are failing (it blames fax machine use) and another on ubiquity of pagers within the healthcare system. As I read through them, I was reminded of a presentation that I once saw (I think it was at a HIMSS meeting but am uncertain) about a project to replace a white board in an ED with a shiny new large-screen display. It failed to a large degree for the same reasons faxes and pagers persist, which appears to be because the infrastructure (both physical and operational) that supports these newer technologies is not sufficiently organized or robust to completely ...
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Pharmaceutical Acuity

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I recently received an email from the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) describing a project supported by EAHP to define a definition of pharmaceutical acuity which has apparently been published. Sadly, I seem to be unable to obtain a copy; I hope to yet get one. This made me think about some of the early efforts along this path that have occurred historically. These efforts resulted in models that attempted to look at acuity in terms of the cost of pharmacy services (including the costs of drugs involved) that arose because current general patient acuity models treat disease states with very different use of pharmaceutical services as ...
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As a fourth year pharmacy student on an APPE rotation with ASHP, I had the distinct pleasure of attending ASHP Policy Week. For those who may not know, policy week is an annual event where appointed members of ASHP Councils and Commissions gather in Bethesda, Maryland to discuss key issues and important topics that are impacting the profession of pharmacy. The appointed members in attendance serve on the Commission on Affiliate Relations or one of five councils which include Education and Workforce Development, Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacy Management, Public Policy, and Therapeutics. The councils use this week to collaborate and develop recommendations to guide ...
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