Making the Case for the Pharmacy as a Center of Excellence
The value of certification.
Earlier this year, ASHP announced a new opportunity for high-performing health systems: the ASHP Certified Center of Excellence™ in Medication-Use Safety and Pharmacy Practice. The ASHP Standard for Certification as a Center of Excellence in Medication-Use Safety and Pharmacy Practice reflects contemporary best practices for hospital and health-system pharmacy practice. Pharmacies that achieve this ASHP certification demonstrate the highest levels of pharmacy practice, medication safety, and pharmacy patient care services.
This year’s Midyear Clinical Meeting provides an opportunity for attendees to hear from three experts who will discuss why this certification is so important and what those in the profession can do to achieve it during the on-demand session, “Advancing Pharmacy Practice and Defining Value: Positioning Pharmacy as a Center of Excellence.”
Paul Bush, vice president of global resource development and consulting for ASHP, said the pandemic has intensified the need for a Certified Center of Excellence in the pharmacy community and that ASHP is pleased that the certification is now available.
“It allows organizations to differentiate themselves from others, enhances the credibility and value of pharmacy services, and demonstrates the level of pharmacy practice through best practices for hospitals and health system pharmacies, including continuous high-quality care leading to improved patient outcomes, external validation of pharmacy services for patients and community, increased confidence in your pharmacy services internally, and improved efficiencies and decreased variation in your processes,” Bush said.
Phil Brummond, chief pharmacy officer with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, gave an update on the Vizient High-Value Pharmacy Enterprise Framework, which defines eight key domains for the pharmacy profession. “These domains outline both fundamental and aspirational elements of practice that should be established by the year 2025,” he said. “It is intended to be achievable to inspire health systems and pharmacies to attain the highest level of practice in order to meet the needs of our patients and organizations.”
Among other areas, those domains provide a framework for both acute and ambulatory care. Lindsey Kelley, director of ambulatory oncology and research pharmacy services at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, will discuss several areas of ambulatory care including pharmacy services that benefit population health and improve access to care, retail pharmacy services, and specialty pharmacy and infusion care services.
“As identified in the white paper, ambulatory care is continuously evolving, and our responsibility as leaders and stewards of our profession is to evolve with it,” she said. “We must expand existing services and start new services that match the needs and growth of our patients. And further, the achievement of optimal financial, quality and satisfaction outcomes relies on this ability to evolve and grow.”
Jeff Little, director of pharmacy at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, will outline the rules and responsibilities of pharmacy executives as they pertain to the pursuit of recognition as an ASHP Certified Center of Excellence™.
Little said pharmacy leaders, such as a chief pharmacy officer or a vice president of pharmacy, will be key players in getting that certification as they have an increased level of involvement in the hospital’s strategic planning at the most senior levels.
“All of us feel that we are pulled in multiple different directions,” he said. “Many — if not most — of us are in matrix reporting structures with multiple leaders placing different expectations on us. For the sake of this discussion, we will be framing this discussion not based on what we are being asked to do, but what our obligations are as leaders in a profession such as pharmacy.”
Rita Shane, vice president, chief pharmacy officer, and professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and assistant dean of clinical pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Pharmacy, will outline why she thinks it’s “beyond use date,” or long overdue, for pharmacies to seek this kind of certification. After all, other industries have been doing it for a long time.
“Certainly, nursing has made it a priority to create a magnate designation,” she said. “In fact, it represents the gold standard for nursing practice. It’s a peer-reviewed credentialing process and it was established predominantly to support retention of the highest-quality nurses. There is a growing number of articles and strong evidence — in fact, ‘growing’ is probably understating the amount of evidence — that supports the impact of pharmacists on patient outcomes, and yet we haven’t designated ourselves as a magnate or center of excellence in the past. We really believe there’s a need for that.”
For additional information, read the AJHP early-release report ASHP Standard for Certification as a Center of Excellence in Medication-Use Safety and Pharmacy Practice.