By Nathan Hanson, PharmD, MS, BCPS; Healthtrust Supply Chain
Every time we turn on the TV or Twitter feed, we face a barrage of facts and opinions about rules. From masks to sports to school policy to social justice, it is impossible to ignore the fact that rules and rule-makers play a huge role in our everyday lives. It is also an interesting case study in the interplay among the rules at the federal, state, and local level, as well as how those rules play out in the real world of businesses and organizations and the family. When done well, rules level the playing field and keep us safe. While there are certainly huge differences in opinions about the definition of ‘good rules,’ everyone can agree that more input from more voices is the best way to create them. This is especially true when the data is conflicting and the basic understanding of the situation changes frequently. This type of scenario calls for leaders of bold vision who also ask questions and listen. Put simply, regulation in uncertain times requires participation. As MSHP members, we can participate by staying knowledgeable and getting involved.
Subscribe to newsletters, such as the Board of Pharmacy, MSHP, and ASHP. For example, our Missouri Board of Pharmacy has been very active as they have provided flexibility to Missouri pharmacies to deal with the pandemic response, and all of the information you need to know has been posted on the website and sent out via newsletters. You can subscribe to the ASHP Daily Briefing as well as Advocacy Updates and other options through your account NewsLink settings. You can also participate in the conversation on ASHP Connect. This MSHP newsletter is always informative, and MSHP is expanding our use of social media platforms to share information. Joint Commission, NABP, and USP also provide useful information. Read through the Pharmacy Practice Guide and the Department of Health hospital pharmacy rules. Schedule time on your work calendar or your personal calendar to catch up on current events in pharmacy and actually read those articles that are sitting in the “Read Me” folder. A small investment of time, consistently applied over weeks and months, will compound into a solid foundation of understanding.
Participate at your workplace as they work out the best plan for providing excellent pharmaceutical care in the ever-changing COVID landscape. Provide your input and your questions to the discussions about how to ensure that care, respect and opportunity is experienced by all patients and teammates, regardless of race. Join a committee or attend a live or virtual event to get involved with MSHP, with your regional chapter of MSHP, or with ASHP. Find out who your legislators are (link), and contact them. Let them know that pharmacists play an important role for our patients, and if we are given provider status we could do even more. It is an election year, so get educated and vote.
Uncertain times call for participation at all levels. As pharmacists, we have a responsibility to stay knowledgeable and get involved to ensure that our patients get the care that they need.