"The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May." by Edwin Way Teale.
This is truly a time of positive expectations. I find this quote fitting to share with you in my last message as Chair of the Section. This is the time of year where we witness students and residents starting new futures after graduation and we watch farmers and gardeners prepare their land for the future harvest. ASHP and the Section of Pharmacy Informatics & Technology are also preparing for the future. As each of you on a Section Advisory Group finalizes your activities for the year, the SOPIT Executive Committee members spend time preparing for the future of ASHP and our Section.
In April I was invited to the ASHP Board of Directors Strategic Planning Retreat. I participated in the review and discussions on the key issues facing the healthcare system and pharmacy practice over the next five years and what should be included in a revised ASHP Strategic Plan. While it was a great experience to spend time with the members of the Board, other Chairs of the Sections & Forums, and staff of ASHP, it was also a great opportunity to discuss the needs and future of informatics and technology in pharmacy and where ASHP should have priorities and goals. I can confidently share that ASHP is in the hands of great visionaries who recognize and are planning to assist at the most strategic level to address the challenges faced with the growing use of technology and the needs of all pharmacists including those working in informatics.
Another area of activity this spring is the development of new and updated ASHP professional policies. As a reminder, About ASHP Statements and Guidelines are developed in the form of policy positions and guidance documents for the continuum of pharmacy practice settings in integrated health systems. ASHP policy statements are developed through consensus and approved by the Board of Directors and House of Delegates. As Chair of the Section Executive Committee, I have the opportunity to represent SOPIT in the House of Delegates (HOD).
In March, through a virtual voting process the HOD approved the following three policies .
- Ensuring Patient Safety and Data Integrity During Cyber-attacks
- Reduction on Unused Prescription Drug Products
- Pharmacist's Leadership Role in Anticoagulation Therapy Management
In early June the ASHP 2017 Summer Meeting, the House of Delegates will be discussing an additional 29 policy recommendations, which can be found on the House of Delegates page on ASHP Connect. There are a few recommendations for changing the policy language to more accurately reflect the informatics needs that I am providing through collaboration with other Delegates, in particular in the policy statements regarding Mobile Health Tools, Clinical Apps, and Associated Devices and Considerations of Transgender Patients . If you have any further recommendations, please send your suggestions to me.
Speaking of the Summer Meeting, I hope to see many of you at the Informatics Institute at the ASHP 2017 Summer Meeting & Exhibition in Minneapolis, MN . Don’t miss the Sunday afternoon Networking Session celebrating our Tenth Anniversary of the Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology. Additionally, there is an informal Meet and Greet for SOPIT and Friends at Brit’s Pub on Monday, June 5th from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Please join us to celebrate this milestone.
Through this past year I have shared some commentary on our important roles as informaticists as described in the ASHP Statement in Pharmacy Informatics & Technology . I leave you with one final note on this. The Pharmacy Informaticist role is ever evolving. The possibilities of the future are unending. Your participation and suggestions to inform the activities of the ASHP Section of Pharmacy Informatics & Technology are invaluable. I look forward to continuing to stay involved in the Section and to serve one more year on the Executive Committee in the role of immediate past chair. I will be assisting Joe Lassiter, incoming chair, and the other members of the Committee in our efforts to represent you and provide the structure needed for collaboration, education, and representation of our membership. Speaking on behalf of our entire committee, please visit with us at the Summer Meeting and let us know how we can assist you. Our future is bright!
Sylvia Belford, Pharm.D., M.S., CPHIMS
Chair, Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology