Frequently Asked Questions
Why did ASHP launch a Section of Digital and Telehealth Practitioners?
The new section supports one of the new main goals of ASHP’s strategic plan, which is to “Advance Patient Care Through Pharmacy Practice Innovation.”
The goal of the section is to provide a coordinated focus to address the rapidly evolving advances in pharmacy practice within the construct of virtual healthcare delivery, data, and digital health technologies.
Recent times have accelerated advances in telehealth, virtual care, digital health, and data utilization which provides more opportunities for expanded quality care. In addition, new digital health technologies and new data utilization methods are changing how pharmacy is practiced and healthcare more broadly is delivered.
ASHP has been at the forefront of these practice innovations. Now is the right time to be creating a new membership home for those who are providing or wish to expand virtual healthcare delivery models so that ASHP members can be connected and collaborate to adeptly provide high-quality and accessible pharmacy patient care services in a digital future.
With the rapid introduction of products and services for use by clinicians and patients, health systems will need to implement new models of care. This will require fundamental shifts in the ways our members learn, train, and practice. ASHP’s strategic plan specifically calls for pharmacists to manage patients’ medication therapy across the entire care continuum. With healthcare evolving beyond traditional models, this new section will provide a critical focus on advancing digital health and virtual care.
How is this within ASHP’s scope and focus?
ASHP, including our Innovation Center and Commission on Goals, has focused on optimizing medication outcomes through telehealth, preparing the workforce for a digital future, and exploring practice advances such as the hospital-at-home care model.
ASHP has increased its education, publications, policies, member services, and advocacy to support telehealth and virtual care models, digital health, and data utilization. ASHP’s strategic plan assumes a leading role and responsibility in shaping our members’ roles in these care delivery models, as well as the application of digital health and use of data.
Why launch the section at this time?
The pandemic created an urgent need for healthcare providers to innovate for better and more accessible care enabled by virtual capabilities.
There is an urgent need to create new, sustainable practice models that are safe, effective, and financially sustainable. There is also a need to address equity and inclusion in underserved populations who may not have access to technology, redesigning operational workflows, and adopting value-based care delivery models.
The section is needed during this rapidly changing time to lead the charge in medication management, seek opportunities to expand sites of care, extend pharmacy expertise in care delivery, and identify key process indicators that demonstrate pharmacy value on behalf of the profession.
ASHP has grown in its product and service offerings for those engaged in telepharmacy and virtual care models.
From a membership perspective, offering this new section is an enhanced membership benefit that brings education and services that are needed by our members and contributes to our membership growth.
Members also have a desire to network with others for best practices, and they want to share and publish their innovative approaches and research. The section is a vehicle to do so.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how quickly healthcare and the pharmacy profession can change, and how critical connectivity to the profession is to continue to meet evolving patient care models.
Building on our existing professional development expertise, ASHP is well-positioned to support members in all settings, preparing the next generation of practitioners to provide the highest level of interprofessional patient care in highly dynamic, data-driven complex and virtual environments.
What are some of the goals of this section?
Advising on member benefits and services related to the educational and training needs of the pharmacy workforce.
Recommending professional and interprofessional healthcare resources and policies related telepharmacy, digital health and virtual care, in order to best promote safe, optimal and effective patient care.
Informing ASHP of issues and best practices related to education and training.
Developing member engagement and leadership within ASHP.
What will be the section’s initial areas of focus?
- Engage in focused discussion on the future of digital health and telehealth as it relates to clinical care, infrastructure, regulatory compliance, and patient accessibility
- Develop content around educational needs in the form of webinars, podcasts, web resource centers, etc.
- Identify opportunities for education and training innovations
- Develop and support ASHP policies and accreditation standards in this area
- Provide virtual and in-person networking and education opportunities
- Identify advocacy priorities
- Produce AJHP content and encourage scholarly activities
- Share innovations in ASHP Spotlights and Intersections articles
- Identify potential corporate sponsors and partners
- Develop engagement and leadership within ASHP
Will this have overlap with existing sections?
Overall, ASHP component groups (sections and forums) are created to foster a sense of member identity, unite practice/professional development interests and issues, and facilitate the exchange of information among like-minded members.
Sections have logical overlap in their disciplines and interests. This is to be embraced as each section and forum will bring a variety of perspectives to the issue which will provide a holistic view. The goal is to meet the needs of our members through a diversity of membership components.
The new Section of Digital and Telehealth Practitioners will be in addition to all other membership sections at no added dues, therefore an added member benefit.
ASHP’s sections and forums may collaborate on initiatives that affect multiple interests and practice settings so there may be a fair deal of cooperation among the sections.
Similarly, ASHP anticipates the new section will augment existing initiatives and create new opportunities for members to engage and find value within ASHP.
Who do I contact for more information about the section?
Please contact Amey C. Hugg, Director Member Relations, at [email protected]