“Mind the Gap”
This phrase is announced repeatedly in the London Underground to remind travelers to watch their step as they exit the subway, lest they get stuck in the gap between the train and the platform.
In her book Daring Greatly, author Brené Brown states that minding the gap means being aware of the place between “where we are standing and where we want to be.” Doing so is difficult, because it requires us to “embrace our own vulnerability.” It requires us to break from disengagement (often a product of burnout), and do the hard work of moving towards our goal.
How does this relate to ambulatory care pharmacy practice? The vision of the Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners is a “healthcare system where pharmacists optimize healthcare outcomes for every patient through the provision of team-based ambulatory care services across the continuum of care”. As a Section, we are working to advance our profession; what more can we do to help narrow the gap between our vision and current practices.
My health system is in the process of merging with three other health systems in my state. Each system has slightly different models and levels of practice for ambulatory care pharmacy services. Reaching toward the vision of ambulatory care pharmacy services available to all patients seems a long way away. Yet each day, individual practitioners are making strides towards this vision. We are forging relationships with other members of the health care team. We are improving health outcomes for our patients. We are reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of health care delivery. We are strategizing with the C-suite. We are advocating for provider status and improved reimbursement for our services. Together, our collective efforts will help this vision to become a reality.
The Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners’ Section Advisory Groups (SAGs) will begin meeting this month to plan meeting programming and webinars, create resources and toolkits for ASHP members, and discuss issues important to ambulatory care pharmacists. Many thanks to the over 100 volunteer members of the SAGs. The chairs of SACP’s SAGs for 2017-2018 are:
- Ambulatory Care Medication Management: Robin Cooke
- Clinical Practice Advancement: Ellina Seckel
- Compensation and Practice Sustainability: Jamie Cavanaugh
- Home Infusion: Barbara Petroff
- Pain and Palliative Care: Courtenay Wilson
In addition, SACP’s Educational Steering Committee, chaired by Amber Martirosov, will be meeting to plan high level education programming to benefit SACP members.
In addition to the work of the Section Advisory Groups, the A3 Collaborative fall cohort is another avenue that will help move ambulatory care pharmacy practice forward. The Alliance for Integrated Medication Management (AIMM), Apexus, and ASHP joined forces to offer a unique learning experience designed to help healthcare providers and organizations make Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) a critical part of their strategic plan. Twenty–two teams were accepted into the initial cohort this past spring and each has access to resources and tools to build the business case for an effective CMM strategy that focuses on improved health outcomes, better patient care, and cost effectiveness. The application for the 2017/2018 A3 collaborative is now open online (deadline is September 15th). For additional information about the A3 Collaborative, download the participation package or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a few weeks, I will have the opportunity to participate in ASHP Policy Week. During this week, I will do my best to help narrow the gap by representing the issues that are important to ambulatory care pharmacists. I look forward to giving you an update in my next chair’s message.
Laura Traynor, Pharm.D., BCPS
Chair, Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners (2017-2018)