One in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime and it is the second most common cancer among men, behind only skin cancer. To help spread awareness of its risks and treatment, we've created another installation for our Smart-Take series—a downloadable page of health tips and information gathered on a range of topics that you can post in your stores.
September is National Preparedness Month. As we watched the southeast cowed by the landfall of Hurricane Florence this week, and as massive typhoons continue to strike in the Pacific, we’re reminded of the important role pharmacists play in helping our communities cope with natural disasters and other events—like pandemic or loss of power, for example—that impact care delivery. Have a plan, and make sure your employees are all educated on it. Many individual state pharmacy associations, like this one in Florida, provide state-specific advice. Or, crosscheck your plan against this disaster planning checklist from the National Community Pharmacists Association. Pharmacies that are not in the danger-zone can help, too, by hosting donation drives like this one in Louisiana.
Here are a few other stories that might be of interest:
There is little doubt the relationship between the pharmacist and physician is rapidly evolving into one of greater collaboration and, hopefully, mutual respect. Recently, the results of a Virginia-based health system project that targeted multiple chronic conditions got some attention: it demonstrated significant improvements in both patient care and ROI when physicians and pharmacists collaborate. At a multispecialty physician group in New Jersey, pharmacists are relied upon to help physicians meet quality metrics critical to value-based payment systems. Directors at the facility say they connected pharmacy to their team to do more than influence value-based care; it’s also “saved the organization money, brought about standardization, and raised the level of trust and respect others have for pharmacists.”
Significant advances in HIV treatment—including understanding and educating the populace about transmission and developing public health approaches to serve high-risk populations—have resulted in a dramatic change in disease progression. From an estimated 130,000 cases annually since reporting began in 1981, significant strides were made initially in addressing the epidemic, and reported cases dropped significantly by 2000. That number has remained fairly stagnant, though, and pharmacists have been called upon to lend a hand. Guidelines for pharmacy’s role in the early-2000s can be found and elaborated on here. But a recent study published in Medicinerevealed that there is a still a long way to go—especially when it comes to improving screening rates. Here are a few tips on how pharmacists can help. Meanwhile, drug makers continue to develop new protocols in the hope that treatment will be easier, more effective, and (elephant in the room) presumably cheaper—eventually.
Here are a few other stories that might be of interest:
Feeling stuck? Inspiration is where you find it. You might enjoy one of my favorite sources for “big ideas” in this podcast series on disruption, a compendium of advice from leaders across multiple industries who have shared ideas that changed the way they did business, how they’ve performed as leaders, or that shifted their view of success. Take this interview with Alison Levine, for example. Levine is a former investment advisor and alpinist who has climbed the highest mountains on seven continents and skied to both the North and South Poles. She knows a little something about risk and reward. Or check out these thoughts from Peter Bregman on listening and communication: “Have a meaningful conversation and get to the point. If we’re willing to feel anything [including the discomfort of listening to someone you disagree with], then we can do anything.” This very quick read on staying “caught up” at work from Harvard Business Review might hit close to home. (The publication’s daily management tips sometimes hit the spot, too.) And finally, we would be remiss if we neglected this fount of inspiration from the late, great Queen of Soul.
Pharmacists have been finding themselves in the crosshairs in the opioid war, attuned to their responsibility to prevent misuse and diversion while providing access to treatment for patients suffering from chronic pain. Policymakers and care providers are working at the federal and state levels—and in the courts—to map out policies that achieve the right balance.
Congratulations to Sterling Northfield pharmacist and Smart-Fill contributor Jessica Astrup Ehret. Jessica has recently been made a finalist for the nationwide Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards in the Rising Star category, an honor given annually to a pharmacist who is defining the future standard of pharmacy practice by his or her professional practice and/or by advocacy in the pharmacy industry.
Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Smart-Fill member Shatto’s Frontier Drug in Douglas, Wyoming, winner of GNP Pharmacy of the Year at last week’s ThoughtSpot 2018. The contest recognizes a pharmacy that exemplifies what it means to be a pillar in the community they serve: taking patient care to the next level and innovating in pharmacy practice. Co-owners Gary and Jan Shatto serve their community with a personal touch, including investment in diabetes care and opioid awareness.The team will do whatever it takes to ensure patients are cared for—even if that means driving 60 miles to pick up a medication they don’t have on the shelf.