Blogs

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I received an email from HIMSS the other day inviting me to learn about an exciting new concept called " Edge Computing ". If you Google 'Edge Computing" you can find a host of articles about it many of which are thinly-veiled advertisements for somebody's "edge solution". Simply put, it appears that the notion of edge computing is that data processing becomes decentralized to the devices that collect it and only processed data is sent over the wide-area network and stored in a data warehouse. The argument for Edge is that it permits the accumulation of the raw processing power of thousands (or millions?) of devices and significantly reduces the bandwidth requirement ...
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Dear Colleagues, Many of you may have seen recent stories in the media questioning the accessibility and safety of generic drugs, including those manufactured overseas. These stories, and others like them, could lead to fear and confusion among patients, potentially leading to adherence issues and poor health outcomes. As the medication safety experts on the front lines with patients, it is critical that our members know that ASHP is committed to working with you, our partners in government, and other key stakeholders to help ensure that medications are accessible, safe, and effective, regardless of origin. We have been in recent contact with FDA leaders ...
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Introduction : In December of 2018, I submitted an application for the ASHP 2019 Student Leadership Award for the class of 2020. My essay for this application can be found in this blog post, and represents my thoughts on student involvement with the Practice Advancement Initiative and the changing landscape of pharmacy practice in the year 2030. I look forward to engaging in a conversation about student involvement, PAI, advocacy, and pharmacy practice.  Fostering Student Involvement in the Practice Advancement Initiative The year is 2030, and I’m a third year pharmacy student at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy in Richmond, Virginia. ...
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Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) is an innovative technology that allows healthcare providers to write electronic prescriptions for controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) legalized EPCS in 2010. State laws subsequently were independently changed as well to permit EPCS.  By 2014, 30% of pharmacies in the United States were accepting EPCS as a method of prescribing, but only 1% of providers in the country were prescribing controlled substances via EPCS. Today, EPCS is being implemented into health-system workflows across the nation and mandatory EPCS is on the horizon with a minority of states already requiring it. ...
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On behalf of the ASHP SAG on Compensation and Practice Sustainability this blog post was written by Kelsey Kelsch, PharmD Candidate while on rotation with me on an Ambulatory Care Administration rotation at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, UT. I want to also acknowledge the contributions of Monica Rauch, PharmD, BCACP who was a PGY2 Ambulatory Care Resident at Intermountain Healthcare during the time this was written. I hope you enjoy reading the valuable information included.   As a pharmacy student on rotation, the topic of Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) was discussed in a meeting I attended. During that meeting, I sensed that MACs ...
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Before arriving at the ASHP headquarters in Bethesda, MD to complete my final APPE rotation as a student pharmacist, it was unbeknown to me how heavily involved students could be within a national association. Then I met Megan, a highly accomplished PGY2 Health System Pharmacy Administration resident, who I was fortunate enough to be co-externs with during our shared time on rotation together. And boy, did we end up being quite the dynamic duo! As I learned about all of her SSHP experiences and involvement as a student (and now as a resident), I started to doubt myself. Should I be more accomplished by this early stage of my pharmacy career? These feelings ...
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Hello all! I would just like to share some of my thoughts and ideas that came out of my brainstorming as I applied for the ASHP Student Leadership Award this year. In general, I tend to focus more on how to help others accomplish their goals rather than coming up with the ideas myself, so I doubt you will find anything too revolutionary below. If you are already familiar with these ideas though, I would really love to hear about how you're implementing them and how that has benefitted you and your pharmacy community!  As students on our way to becoming practicing pharmacists, I believe we ought to have a special interest in the Practice Advancement Initiative ...
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I am pleased to share with you that ASHP has become a sponsoring member of the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. The other Collaborative Sponsors are:  Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Aetna American Hospital Association American Medical Association Arnold Ventures Association of American Medical Colleges Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC Foundation Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Council of Medical Specialty Societies Federation of State Medical Boards HCA Healthcare National Institute on Drug Abuse Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ...
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Leading Meetings

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Karin Hurt David Dye in How to Lead a Meeting and Make Effective Decisions suggests the following. “This is so stupid—you asked for my opinion and then ignored it. I don’t know why I even bother! From now on, I’m just going to shut my mouth and do my work.” If you’ve heard this or said it yourself, you’ve experienced a critical mistake many managers make when they lead a meeting: lack of clarity around decision ownership. If your meetings aren’t working, look at your clarity of decision-making. Fuzzy decision-making leads to frustrating meetings. People hate feeling ignored. Unfortunately, when you ask for input and appear to ignore it, employees ...
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           This Thursday when I finished my day at the VA community based outpatient clinic, I went to a local independent pharmacy to cover a closing shift.  While I was there I met their APPE student and asked her, “What do you want to do when you get out of pharmacy school?”  She grinned ruefully and replied, “I would like to work in a primary care clinic, but I want to move back home after school so I know that’s probably not going to happen.”  Her response resonated with me.  After all, I was in the same position only five years ago.  For me, graduating and accepting a clinical position at a local independent pharmacy chain right out of college was a dream ...
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​ As a pharmacy technician you may not be aware of the several local and state organizations you can join, to help advance your skills, experience and networking. They have great resources available to advance your career and keep you connected to the changes in the pharmacy world. As the profile of pharmacy technicians continues to rise these organizations are beginning to offer more resources specifically for pharmacy technicians.   In my state of Michigan, we are required to have five hours of live continuing education (CE) credits for our license renewal. While states may vary I imagine these live CE will continue to exist in other ...
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The presence of social media and online communities have certainly made us more connected. However, it has also served as a platform that has easily facilitated comparisons across networks, communities, and peers. One of the drawbacks that I've personally experienced from this - is the feeling that I'm falling behind. I created a video that hopefully helps reset expectations - especially after the phase 1 and 2 residency match. I hope this helps!
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​ ASHP: Not Just for Pharmacists Anymore! By: Vanessa Elliott, M.Ed., CPhT                   My relationship with ASHP started as somewhat of a selfish affair, at least on my part. For many years, membership in national organizations – and the related topic of advocacy – didn’t feature in my career as a pharmacy technician. Although I began working in hospital pharmacy nine years ago, I was not involved with ASHP until four years ago.                  I was first introduced to the organization when my employer had to mitigate the effects of PTCB’s decision to require technician-certified CE on a rather short notice. They purchased a one-year subscription ...
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Good afternoon everyone! I am a PGY-2 Pharmacotherapy Resident. I was hoping to request help in identifying tools that track pharmacist interventions. Do any of you have any Excel tracking forms that you are willing to share? Thank you for your help!
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I am happy to announce our plans to further strengthen ASHP’s government relations activities in Congress, federal agencies, the White House, and the states. Further, to enhance our advocacy initiatives and communications regarding our government relations efforts. To that extent, we have made some important strategic changes to ASHP’s government relations area. First, we have added a Vice President of Government Relations to our Senior Leadership Team who will also complement our exceptional Government Relations staff. We announced last week that we have hired Tom Kraus, M.H.S., J.D., as ASHP’s new Vice President of the Government Relations Office. Tom is ...
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The ASHP Ambulatory Care Section Advisory Group on Compensation and Practice Sustainability (CPS SAG) held an engaging networking session during the 2018 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. While a few months have passed since the Midyear Clinical Meeting, the information shared is still valuable. Discussions and networking centered around four main themes: Credentialing and privileging, telehealth, measuring the value of ambulatory care services, and establishing new ambulatory care services. Each participant was given time to comment on each topic before spending the latter portion of the session engaged in a deeper dive on their topic of choice. Here we wanted ...
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I represent ASHP on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) National Steering Committee for Patient Safety and, in that regard, bring pharmacy’s perspectives to this very important initiative. I would like to give you an update on our progress. The IHI National Steering Committee has representatives from the American Hospital Association, American College of Healthcare Executives, The Joint Commission, American College of Physicians, American Nurses Association, National Quality Forum, CMS, CDC, AHRQ, ISMP, FDA, AARP, and several other prominent organizations involved in patient safety. The committee is charged with creating a National Action ...
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Congratulations to all who matched during Phase I of the 2019 Residency Match! By pursuing a residency, you have chosen to distinguish yourself by furthering your education and training. You are on the path to becoming the medication expert on the patient care team in all settings of care. This year marks 56 years since ASHP began accrediting residencies and 40 years since ASHP’s Residency Match program began. Of our total 5,134 residency positions in 2019, 4,697 are now filled, with the remainder to be filled in Phase II of the Match. If you did not match during the first round, I encourage you to enter into Phase II of the Match, as there are still a number ...
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I have recently found myself in a number of discussions regarding what it is actually possible to know about measurement accuracy, especially as it relates to sterile compounding. These discussions have ranged from considerations of the lowest volume a human can measure, to the level of precision necessary in density data for gravimetric systems. Based on those conversations, I have come to the conclusion that we tend to practice as if we were capable of more precision and more accuracy than is, in fact, humanly possible in the general case. I have observed computation of a weight-based dose of chemotherapy to be 50.2 mL of a drug and seen the pharmacist ...
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Mid Career Malaise

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Rebecca Knight in How to Beat Mid-Career Malaise offers the following advice. We all have times when we wonder, “Am I at the right organization? Am I in the right job? And is this all there is?” These questions are especially agonizing for mid-career professionals who may be searching for fulfillment while juggling demands at home and intense financial pressures to earn.  How should you address a mid-career crisis? What actions can you take to improve your professional satisfaction? How can you combat the dullness and tedium of your workaday life? And how can you tell if it’s time to make a drastic change? What the Experts Say Mid-career malaise ...
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