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Chair Message November 2018

November 2018

Dear Colleagues,

As many of you have heard, the wildfires of California have been devastating. While a couple of co-workers have lost their homes and some of my family members remain evacuated, this unplanned change has proved to bring on difficult times. As the news reports rolled in, my neighbor, a retired pharmacist, reminded me that the support we can provide, in times like these, will help the victims be more resilient to what has happened and what lies ahead for them to move on. These few words resonated for me on both a personal and professional level - support, help, resilient.

As we explore clinical well-being and resilience in our profession, I am appreciative for the support and help that all of you have shared through the years, so that as a whole, we can move forward in this age of technology. With every project you take on or experience you endure, you have a story that can help bring someone else along. Please share your stories. They are important. They provide perspective and support.

In September, I had the opportunity to attend Policy Week in Bethesda and Washington, D.C. Being able to participate and collaborate in getting things done was a wonderful experience. Many of the Council discussions touched on technology, which reinforced my belief that informatics works across the continuum of care for medication management. One Council focused on topics related to artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics, and big data. It was interesting to hear what was said and what was unsaid. The take home message was, as members of the SOPIT, we must continue leading the way, work together, and be involved at every possible level to assure our fellow pharmacists that we will support and help our profession to maintain resilience.


Pharmacy Forecast 2019: ASHP Foundation released the Pharmacy Forecast 2019 for Strategic Planning this week. In the past, the forecast has provided insight into emerging trends that have impacted the practice of pharmacy and the health of patients in health system. For those of you working on developing processes using data, read the section on Forecast Methods. It provides you some ideas of what you can pull together data to tell your story. The section on the Opioid Crisis clearly identifies the important role we have in using technology to be part of the solution. And, the section on Technology Innovations and Involvement by Pharmacy Leaders is a must read.

Future Format of the National Drug Code (NDC): Believe or not, we're running out of NDC codes. The FDA held a public hearing on November 5, 2018 to discuss the different options. For those who missed it, here is the link to the webcast replay: Here is a great opportunity to get involved and use your voice. Public comment is available until January 5, 2019.

ASHP Policy Week took place September 24-27, 2018 in Bethesda, MD. Section Chairs joined our colleagues from the various Councils, to discuss policy and advocacy efforts. As an action item from the Council on Pharmacy Management, we are convening a workgroup, led by the SAG Clinical Decision Support and Analytics, to create a statement from SOPIT on Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.

Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition 2018
Join me next month at the Midyear Clinical Meeting & ExhibitioDecember 2-6, 2018 in Anaheim, CA. Registration is still open – please plan an on attending this essential meeting, the largest gathering of pharmacy professionals in the world!

Help us celebrate and share your stories, and please plan on stopping by for the Meet-&-Greet on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at The Mix Lounge at the Hilton Anaheim from 6-8 pm. Please wear your badge with your orange SOPIT ribbon or see Anh or Amey there to get a ribbon. This is a self-treat event. Big thanks to Anh Ngo and her colleagues of the Professional Development SAG for setting this up.

While at the Midyear please make certain to attend these Informatics Networking Sessions facilitated by our SAG leaders. See the ASHPLive! App for room details.

Clinical Decision Support and Analytics Networking Session

Monday, December 3, 2018, 11:15 p.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Facilitated by: Nancy R. Smestad, MS R.Ph

  • Artificial Intelligence(AI) in Healthcare: Machine Learning, use and reliability
  • Predictive Analytics: Uses in your organization, successes
  • Documenting pharmacy interventions employing pharmacy/clinical informatics methodologies pursuant to section 340B

Clinical Applications Networking Session

Monday, December 3, 2018, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Facilitated by: Ray Chan, Pharm.D. Pharmacy IS Specialist, Sentara Healthcare Virginia Beach, VA

  • Evaluation and incorporation of mobile apps and data into the EHR and interoperability solutions
  • Access to Big Data and uses within Pharmacy Workflows
  • Pharmacist access to the comprehensive health record across the continuum of care

Operations and Automation Networking Session

Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Facilitated by: David Aguero, Pharm.D. Manager, Pharmacy Operations and Technology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee

  • RFID versus BCMA: Pros and Cons
  • Challenges in RFID implementation (trays, kits, carts, etc.)
  • Auto-verification of medication orders within the HER
  • NDC formatting changes

Informatics Professional Development Networking Session

Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 11:15 p.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Facilitated by: Anna Dreger, R.Ph.

  • Pharmacy graduates need requisite knowledge and competencies in health informatics, data analytics and quality measurement and reporting.: Challenges in didactic learning models
  • Focus areas and mentoring for informatics students and PGY1 residents
  • Trends and demand in pharmacy informatics (HIT) workforce

Share your knowledge

Proposals are being accepted from December 1 until February 1, 2019, 11:59 p.m. Pacific time for 2019 Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition, December 8-12, 2019 in Las Vegas, NV

As we sit down to celebrate the season, I want to thank you all for being part of our SOPIT and helping us move our profession forward. I am thankful to ASHP and for all of you who have been with me throughout this journey.

Gratefully yours,

Maritza Lew, Pharm.D., CPHIMS, PMP 

Chair, Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology
[email protected]