Blogs

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Hello everyone, My name is Sahid Sahid and I am a non-traditional student completing my elective rotation at ASHP. Through this blog, I wanted to share with you some of my background as an international student and practicing pharmacist. I hope that this blog series will help international students that hope to pursue practice in the US, while for others, it might just satisfy their curiosity on a foreign path. My pharmacy journey started in a little country on the edge of the equator in West Africa called Sierra Leone (A Portuguese/Italian word meaning Lion Mountain). Little is known about Sierra Leone to the Western world besides what is shown in movies ...
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The third week in October is National Pharmacy Week , and although our profession is known for being humble servants to patient care, this week is to recognize our perseverance throughout a year of unimaginable challenges. This week, the importance of appreciating our pharmacists and our profession has never been greater.  Although this year has been full of unknowns, our profession has advanced, challenged, and continues to put patient care at the center of our attention and objectives. This month, I challenge you to choose to acknowledge and appreciate how far you have come, what you have accomplished, and how you have grown as a future pharmacist. Whether ...
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I am as big as a fan of anyone for use of angiotensin-receptor neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) and sodium glucose co-transporter (SGLT) 2 inhibitor for those with heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). 1–4 It is amazing to witness, first-hand, the improvement in functional status and quality of life that these therapies have for those with HFrEF. This is in addition to the impact that these therapies have on mortality and hospitalization in this population. 1–3 We are fortunate to now have a “4 pillar regimen” for those with HFrEF: 1) evidence based beta-blocker 2) angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, angiotensin II receptor blocker, or ARNI ...
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Finishing up week three and I can’t believe how quickly time is passing! This week, I thought I would dive a bit deeper into the quality measure work I have been doing thus far while at ASHP and discuss what I have learned about the ASHP Pharmacy Advancement Initiative (PAI) 2030.   As you may have seen last week, I discussed submitting some comments in support of efforts from the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) in their development of a measure regarding simultaneo us benzodiazepine and opioid prescription/use (COB). That measure was being considered by the  National Quality Forum (NQF) Patient Safety Portfolio Standing Committee   for re-evaluation ...
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Time is flying at this ASHP rotation! Even though this was a short week due to Labor Day, the amount of work and meetings still felt like a full week’s worth! Here is a little run down about my week.   This week included the closing of some projects and initiations of some new ones. We were able to submit some comments on the measure revisions regarding the simultaneous prescription of opioids and benzodiazepines being reviewed by the National Quality Forum. This was so rewarding to get to see the final submission of a project that I worked on from the start. My preceptor, Anna Dopp, works closely with organizations like the National Quality Forum (NQF) and ...
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Take Care of Yourself

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It is crazy how time flies. As I reflect on the last few years, I realize how different time has felt. So much has happened and at the same time, so much hasn’t. The pandemic continues, and we’ve continued with it, but life is not the same as it used to be. I’ve seen the least of my family and friends than I think I ever have in almost two years - in person anyway. At the same time, I’ve continued with pharmacy school, and now I am on my fourth APPE rotation and am almost halfway done with my final year in pharmacy school. It feels like only a few months ago I was starting my final didactic year and then suddenly… it was time to start APPE rotations. I am incredibly ...
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Last September, I was so excited when I received my acceptance email to participate in the ASHP APPE! Since then, I have been imagining who I would meet, what I would to do, and all the things I’d learn while there. Even though this experience has been virtual, my preceptor and the staff of ASHP has excelled as making me feel welcomed and included in the various projects the organization takes on.     One of the things that I noticed first and foremost is how friendly everyone is here. I have scheduled many Meet and Greets and, even though these encounters only last half an hour, everyone I have met has left a positive impact. Several team members have ...
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Dear Colleagues, Pharmacists have been on the front lines of patient care throughout the pandemic, leading efforts to immunize millions of people across the nation and serving as medication use experts. Yet, in many communities, due to highly contagious variants, including the Delta variant, the number of cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and deaths are on the rise once again. ASHP, in collaboration with nearly 100 organizations and societies, including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association, took an important step by calling for all healthcare and long-term care employers to require their workers to receive the COVID-19 ...
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I am a student pharmacist, and recently I have learned the importance of mental health and personal wellbeing. In fact, the importance of maintaining my mental health and wellbeing has been reinforced throughout my summer internship with ASHP. ASHPs mission statement on wellbeing and resilience is; “ ASHP is committed to fostering and sustaining the well-being, resilience, and professional engagement of pharmacists, pharmacy residents, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians .” I believe in this mission whole heartedly.    There is a lot of stress that can naturally come with a job in the health care field. As pharmacists, this stress can be due ...
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Pharmacy has become a very competitive and saturated healthcare field. As a student pharmacist I understand that I will encounter many interviews while in school, applying for residencies, fellowships, and jobs. Interviews are inevitable, so it is something I want to try to master as soon as possible. I wanted to share some tips I have learned along my way with other students and pharmacists.   Preparing for the interview is key in how you will do on the day of your interview. Make sure that you do thorough research on the institution or program where you applied. This could include the mission statement of the health system, the size of the hospital (beds, ...
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The ASHP residency accreditation standards require that at least one of six criteria be met for a person to be deemed a qualified preceptor.  One option is “Demonstrating the ability to precept residents’ learning experiences by use of clinical teaching roles (i.e., instructing, modeling, coaching, facilitating) at the level required by residents”. 1-3   The time a preceptor spends in each of these roles can vary during the learning experience. It is also possible that a preceptor may not need to employ each of these on a given rotation based on the learner’s experience and/or rotation goals. The only exception, in my opinion, is   modeling . Modeling should ...
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The ASHP residency accreditation standards require that at least one of six criteria be met for a person to be deemed a qualified preceptor.  One option is “Demonstrating the ability to precept residents’ learning experiences by use of clinical teaching roles (i.e., instructing, modeling, coaching, facilitating) at the level required by residents”. 1-3 The time a preceptor spends in each of these roles can vary during the learning experience. It is also possible that a preceptor may not need to employ each of these on a given rotation based on the learner’s experience and/or rotation goals. The only exception, in my opinion, is modeling . Modeling should ...
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Cloud-based vs Server-based EHRs – Things to consider Is your institution in the market for a new EHR? Congratulations - there are now more options than ever before. While increased options allow a greater likelihood that you can find precisely the EHR that you need, it also means there are more decisions to make and details to consider. This can make this seem like a daunting task. Choosing an EHR is an incredibly complex decision. Dozens of variables need to be evaluated to determine which EHR works best for your situation. With this blog post, we wanted to focus on one particular variable – cloud-based versus server-based EHRs– and highlight some key ...
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Dear Colleagues, ASHP has been leading patient-focused efforts to protect the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and I am pleased to share with you that our steadfast advocacy has paid off. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which manages the 340B program, recently announced that it has directed six drug manufacturers to comply with 340B pricing requirements or risk financial penalties.  The 340B program is essential to many hospitals’ ability to provide healthcare services to vulnerable patients and communities, including providing access to medications for uninsured and underinsured patients. The 340B program is designed to allow providers ...
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For those of you who may have missed this (like I did), over a year ago the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) performed a study on the ability of the current compliance mechanisms for the Drug Supply Chain Security Act by tracing the movement of 44 drug products they characterized as high-risk "billed to Medicare Part D by high-risk dispensers" by reviewing tracing documents to "determine whether the information necessary to trace drugs was present and accurate".  I recommend the document to your review. It is most enlightening. The observations were interesting: Ownership was traceable for 37 of the 44 selected drug products - the remaining 7 were ...
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This past year presented a new challenge and opportunity for conducting residency interviews in a virtual format. Due to this new experience, the Ambulatory Care Pharmacotherapy SAG felt it would be worth sharing tips and tricks that worked within our programs, should similar models be continued in the future.  We also surveyed our students and residents to determine what tips and tricks they had from their perspective. Feel free to share with your colleagues.   Program/Interviewer Tips To introduce candidates to the culture of your program and the surrounding area, consider putting together a video highlighting the area and the program (walking ...
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Dear Colleagues, This week’s announcement that the Food and Drug Administration has expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents 12 to 15 years of age, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s subsequent recommendation, is another encouraging step in our efforts to bring an end to this devastating pandemic. There are more opportunities than ever for pharmacists to lead vaccination programs, build community trust, and direct public education campaigns to protect our communities from COVID-19. Today, I want to share some important updates on the continued work that ASHP and our members are ...
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When making critical care drips at our hospital, we remove volume from the IV bag that is equivalent to the volume of the medication to be added before adding the med to the bag.  For instance, when making an infusion of norepinephrine 8mg/500ml D5W, the techs first remove 8 ml of D5W before adding the 8 ml of norepinephrine. I have never seen this done before. At your institution, how do you prepare critical care drips? Do you remove volume from the IV bag like this?  If so, why?  If not, why not?
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I want you to picture a scenario most of us haven’t been able to experience much over the past year. Imagine that you’re on a plane. You’re flying to see family, going on an adventure, or just getting away from everything for a bit. You’re listening to the in-flight lecture on safety and how to take care of yourself in the case of an emergency. Now, think...what is the first thing the flight attendant says when talking about putting on your oxygen mask? It’s to put your own oxygen mask on first, before helping anyone else. This isn’t just good first aid advice, it’s good self-care advice, too. Because before you can provide quality patient care, you have to be ...
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Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are commonly started on glucagon-like peptide -1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists due to their benefits in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease. While many patients tolerate these agents well, there may be circumstances when providers need to switch patients to a different GLP-1 receptor agonist. These reasons include gastrointestinal side effects, desire for greater glycemic or weight control, injection site reactions, difficulty with the injection device, better adherence with weekly instead of daily agents, or insurance formulary changes. Recently the Veterans Health Administration’s drug pricing ...
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