ASHP publishes reports exploring pharmacy's role in future of healthcare delivery

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ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) today announced the publication of two landmark reports that articulate a futuristic vision for pharmacy practice, including expanded roles for the pharmacy enterprise in healthcare organizations. The 2021 ASHP/ASHP Foundation Pharmacy Forecast Report and the Vizient Pharmacy Network High-Value Pharmacy Enterprise (HVPE) framework, published in AJHP, outline opportunities for pharmacy leaders to advance patient-centered care, population health, and the overall well-being of their organizations.

"During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever for pharmacy leaders to demonstrate the value pharmacy services contribute to the health of patients and the healthcare system," said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP, and Karl Matuszewski, M.S., Pharm.D., Vizient Vice President of Member Connections. "The HVPE framework and the Pharmacy Forecast, used in conjunction with the ASHP Practice Advancement Initiative 2030 recommendations, are essential tools to help pharmacy leaders build a comprehensive, future-focused, patient-centered pharmacy enterprise that delivers optimal outcomes through safe and effective medication use."

ASHP and the ASHP Foundation issue the Pharmacy Forecast annually to identify emerging issues and serve as a tool for dynamic strategic planning for pharmacy departments and health systems. The 2021 report is based on a survey on the likelihood of 42 potential impactful events occurring within the next five years in healthcare. A 17-member committee of pharmacy practice executives and specialists advised on the content of the survey, which was sent to a national panel of 319 experts in health-system pharmacy. The Pharmacy Forecast includes sections on the , access to healthcare, analytics and big data, healthcare financing and delivery, , the pharmacy enterprise, and the pharmacy workforce. The report offers actionable, strategic recommendations for organizations to prepare for and respond to these emerging trends and issues that impact .

The survey responses and recommendations in the 2021 Pharmacy Forecast reflect the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis. Asked to predict trends for the next five years, 91% of the surveyed pharmacy directors agreed that at least 25 states will enact provisions to expand pharmacists' scope of practice during public health emergencies. More than 90% of the survey respondents expect a significant expansion of patient access to telehealth in rural and other underserved locations. The Forecast recommends that pharmacy leaders build on the expanded use of telehealth during the coronavirus pandemic to implement permanent telepharmacy services to enhance patients' medication-related outcomes, particularly those in underserved areas.

The global nature of the U.S. drug supply chain was initially a concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. A vast majority of leaders in the survey believed that global issues such as trade restrictions, pandemics, or climate change increase the potential for drug shortages. The Pharmacy Forecast suggests that health systems collaborate with other organizations and local and state agencies to plan for pandemic-related surges or distribution of scarce resources such as vaccines.

The HVPE framework establishes eight domains that address an expansive list of topics, including patient care services in the ambulatory, specialty pharmacy, and inpatient settings; safety and quality; pharmacy workforce; information technology, including data analytics and information management; business practices; and leadership. Consensus participants set a goal of adopting the 94 evidence-based statements and 336 performance elements in health system-based medication-use processes and practice by 2025.

The Pharmacy Forecast and the HVPE framework are published online ahead of print and will appear in print in the March 15, 2021 issue of AJHP.


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