Happy New Year! This is a time of new beginnings. Many of us frame new goals and accomplishments around annual events, such as a new calendar year, new birth year, and even new fiscal year. As pharmacy informaticists, we are experts in all things new and are constantly managing new activities. New software, new configurations, new content, and new initiatives are part of our daily lives. Have you heard that as of late November, there is a new ASHP Statement on Telepharmacy? Congratulations to all of the SOPIT Section members involved in writing it and seeing this through to approval.
It was great to meet and visit with many of you at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. I hope you enjoyed the educational, networking, and social events as much as I did. The SOPIT Executive Committee met on Saturday before the conference and had a great day of discussion and deliberation. After welcoming new ASHP Section Director, Amey Hugg, we covered a wide range of topics. We acknowledged the upcoming ten-year anniversary of our Section, made some recommendations for recognition, received updates on the ASHP policy process and upcoming events, and discussed ways to improve the Section Advisory Groups’ activities. In the afternoon, we brainstormed ways the Executive committee can work together to provide some new educational and communication offerings on behalf of the Section. I look forward to sharing more as these new strategies come to fruition!
Are you interested in new opportunities, such as joining the SOPIT Executive Committee? This is a great opportunity to represent your colleagues and become more involved in ASHP. Watch your email and ASHP Connect for information on how to apply, the call for nominations will occur in the next couple of weeks. The ASHP Board of Directors has already started its call for nominations, so if you are ready for a new and broader leadership position, review the information on ASHP’s website.
One way pharmacy informaticists manage activities anew is through our role in “ applied clinical informatics: applying user experiences, research, and theoretical informatics principles to improve clinical practice and usability,” as described in the ASHP Statement in Pharmacy Informatics & Technology. Applied clinical informatics is a broad field that the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) defines as the application of informatics and information technology to deliver healthcare services. They also summarize it as “information use in health care by clinicians”. Applied clinical informatics is all about making things new and improved. In the ASHP Statement, the following activities are listed: 1) acquiring professional perspective, 2) analyzing problems, 3) producing solutions, 3) articulating the rationale, 4) implementing, evaluating, and refining, 5) innovating, 6) working collaboratively, and 7) educating, disseminating, and discussing. While this seems like a long list, so many of us are involved in these activities on a daily basis without stopping to identify or quantify our activities. Members of a SOPIT Section Advisory Group’s published an article in a September 2016 issue AJHP on “ Optimizing automation and technology across a pharmacy enterprise”. While not calling them out specifically, the article provides some insights into how we should apply each of these applied clinical informatics activities and their importance.
This new year, I encourage you to review how you are accomplishing the listed above and what areas of improvement are needed. Are there areas in which ASHP can assist? We’d like to hear from you!
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln
Sylvia Belford, Pharm.D., M.S., CPHIMS
Chair, Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology