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New(ish) Year, New Feature?

Hello all! This is not a particularly well thought out post. Just wanted to drop in and say I haven't run away or been taken out by corporate executives (at least not yet!). I must not be too much of a threat. :) I have just been working a lot and enjoying the holiday season with my family, as I hope all of you have been doing as well. Well, the last part anyway. I've also had some big personal changes going on (anyone know anything about wedding planning??)

I will say that I have recently been feeling discouraged and frustrated, like I'm trying in vain to change the course of the runaway train that is our profession and healthcare in general. I've shied away a bit from posting and website work. I'm not giving up though, not going anywhere. Instead, I'm working on a new site feature to share with everyone in hopes of boosting the morale of pharmacists everywhere.

I try to give examples in my blog posts of reasons that the state of pharmacy practice needs to change. Reasons that pharmacists need time to do our job appropriately, reasons that current practices are dangerous, reasons that our contributions are valuable. But those reasons are drawn only from my personal practice, stories I hear from colleagues, and anecdotes I hear from various places, and every once in awhile, a scenario I dream up. So I thought, wouldn't it be nice if pharmacists and technicians all over the country (and world!) had a place to come and share the impacts they've made on their patients and their communities? We could surely compile a whole compendium, full of real-world interactions and measures (de-identified, of course) that demonstrate the value of the patient-pharmacist-provider-community relationship.

In the spirit of Christmas, I had at one time considered a "Nice" box and a "Naughty" box - "Nice" for all of the positive contributions we've made, and "Naughty" for all of the errors that manage to slip through. However, with the reality that most errors are a product of a failed system rather than an individual's failures and in light of the lack of control we have over today's system, and being a believer in Just Culture, I dismissed such an idea. However, I do think that both types of information are valuable. I will be adding a section to the website for both types of vignettes, in the hopes of not only uplifting us a profession, but also of shedding light on the actual human value AND fiscal value our expertise can bring to our communities if allowed to flourish.

The submission section will allow for both a narrative description of your valuable contributions and also give the opportunity to choose descriptive options based off of a clinical intervention reporting tool described here (full citation below). Today I am adding only the first part, the opportunity to submit positive interventions we have made as pharmacists. In the future, I hope to build another page allowing these to be displayed so that readers can see and be encouraged and heartened by the success stories that are all too often few and far between.

So, send your best stories of pharmacy discoveries and your feats of strength and intellect. Tell us about the patients you saved from poor inhaler or injection technique, the quality of life improvements you helped implement, the therapeutic changes you recommended, the lifestyle changes you helped patients accomplish, the community services you provided, anything. This isn't MTM and it doesn't have to fit any pre-designated category of "acceptable" intervention. It doesn't have to be connected to any STAR ratings, just actual, real patient lives and community health on an individual or community basis. Nothing is too small, too large, too outlandish. I want to hear what you guys are up to out there when you're able to squeeze the real stuff in, in between the nonsense.

We ARE a valuable contributor to public health. Let's help remind each other of that and uplift one another with REAL accounts of what we can do.

Submissions accepted here. Link to Submissions page also available in the toolbar at the top of the page. Please remember to remove any and all patient identifying information from any submissions. Submissions may be compiled or quoted for future postings and/or site projects (such as a display page for submissions).

Citation for clinical documentation tool:

Ahmed Al-jedai and Zubeir A. Nurgat (August 29th 2012). Electronic Documentation of Clinical Pharmacy Interventions in Hospitals, Data Mining Applications in Engineering and Medicine, Adem Karahoca, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/50425. Available from:

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