Fearless Pharmacy: Non-traditional pharmacy practice

Keynote speaker of the 2019 PAS Conference, Robert Hawke, talks with Amy Lamb and Robyn Despins about their more cognitive areas of pharmacy practice.

What Does #FearlessPharmacy mean to the PAS Board, what it looks like in their practice today and tomorrow?

PAS A/DOP Kristjana Gudmundson, #FearlessPharmacy is about a pharmacist's foundational skills being applied to new areas of practice.

#FearlessPharmacy means knowing ones’ own strengths and skill sets and applying them to your daily practice. Pharmacists’ foundational skills are being applied to new areas of practice to meet the needs of the people in our community and the health care system we all share. Fearless pharmacy is creating relationships with the patients and other health care professionals with the goal of delivering the best care possible to the people in our community.

Advocating for pharmacy enables pharmacists to see areas of opportunities as we walk beside each patient during their health care journey. Pharmacists are lifelong learners with problem-solving abilities. Being fearless means using these quality traits to remove practice barriers as the profession evolves. Innovation in practice comes from not being scared to apply those fundamental skills in new relationships, in new ways and in new areas of practice.

#FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy

For Past-Chair, Paul Bazin, #FearlessPharmacy is an environment that nurtures and fosters innovation, full scope of practice and self-development.

#FearlessPharmacy is to provide a practice environment were pharmacists can go above and beyond for patients. It is an environment that nurtures and fosters innovation, full scope of practice and self-development to allow a pharmacist to excel at providing medication management, clinic, immunization and health services.  A pharmacist practicing in this environment is able to be at their best and thus offer exceptional care to the patients and the community they serve.

Fearless pharmacy is also about stepping out and advocating for what pharmacists do on a daily basis to their patients, family and other stakeholders to help all understand the immense value pharmacists bring to the healthcare system, to local communities and hospitals. Communities across this province are healthier and better served because of the services and care of pharmacists.  If pharmacists  all step out of their comfort zone to advocate for the value they provide, Saskatchewan truly would be the home of #FearlessPharmacy.

#FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy

Palima Shrestha, outgoing Senior-Stick, sees #FearlessPharmacy as adding value to pharmacists or pharmacy students.

#FearlessPharmacy means to move the profession forward by adding value as a pharmacist or pharmacy student! It means not being afraid to fail, be honest, or ask hard questions and  challenge views on pharmacy practice. Fearless pharmacy is advocating for the advancement of the profession by being innovative, courageous and excited about the direction of pharmacy with the goal of improving health outcomes in patients. As a student, #FearlessPharmacy is doing the best you can, and putting in the effort to develop yourself into the type of healthcare provider you would want caring for the people you love.

#FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy

For Laura Almas, CSHP-SK Rep, #FearlessPharmacy means working alongside all healthcare providers to create a patient-centered plan.

#FearlessPharmacy in hospital practice means being an essential member of inter-professional teams. It means working alongside specialists, medical learners, nurses, and other healthcare providers to create a patient-centered plan. Fearless Pharmacy is advocating for the best drug therapy for our patients when they are at their most vulnerable. 

It is talking with families when their child, parent, friend or loved one is sick and helping them understand the role that medications can play in their recovery and promoting the responsible and safe use of all medications. Fearless pharmacy is about teaching other healthcare providers on how to use medication resources wisely. It also means that medical teams ask for a pharmacist to be a part of all patient discussions. 

Practicing fearless pharmacy results in pharmacists being highly valued members of the healthcare team and better medication-related outcomes for hospitalized patients. 

#FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy

For PAS Board Member, Monique Zwack #FearlessPharmacy is about innovation, cooperation and voicing the integrity of the profession.

#FearlessPharmacy means being innovative, creative, cooperative, and supportive to others in the profession despite the many challenges that we face. It means successfully achieving our vision of improving health outcomes in the clients that we have the privilege to serve. FearlessPharmacy is being brave enough to have a voice that upholds the integrity and immense value of our profession.       

#FearlessPharmacy  #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy

Cordell Hilderman, PAS Board Member, sees #FearlessPharmacy as having the courage to consistently make unapologetic professional judgments based on skill, experience, and training. Pharmacists do ourselves a disservice when we apologize simply because we’ve judged that a patient’s demand doesn’t align with their best interest. Fearless pharmacy is pushing oneself to continue to grow professionally.  The evolution of the profession is not only inevitable but necessary to maintain relevance within the health care system. Fearless pharmacy is asking for appropriate payment relative to the value of the particular service pharmacists are providing. Pharmacists must effectively communicate the intrinsic value of our services. Fearless pharmacy means building a bond with patients, allowing me to confidently provide full pharmacy care including advising on vaccinations, prescribing for various minor ailments, and making recommendations to prescribers based on medication reviews and review of bloodwork.  Fearless pharmacy requires pharmacists advocating for the profession, raising its stature to better reflect pharmacy’s importance within health care. This may include participating in research which quantifies the value that pharmacy services bring to the public.

#FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy

For Warren Delmage, PAS Board Member, #FearlessPharmacy is going beyond what is necessary for each and every patient. Being that point of contact in the health care system maze to make sure they are getting the care they need and deserve. Every patient in our practice is unique and their care should be tailored to them. The recently expanded scope of practice gives pharmacists the ability to triage patients and get them treatment faster while unburdening the clinics and emergency rooms from minor ailments that can be self-diagnosed and treated by a pharmacist. Fearless pharmacy means breaking outside of the walls of traditional pharmacy practice and embracing the new scope of what pharmacists can do.

#FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy

Robyn Despins, PAS Board Member, thinks #FearlessPharmacy means don’t be afraid to ask questions that may not be a part of pharmaceutical care and don't be afraid to ask you, patients, hard questions.

#FearlessPharmacy means pushing to the limits of our scope of practice to find new and innovative ways to help patients. Pharmacists need to believe in their knowledge, expertise, and the potential of their profession and advocating for the importance of the role of a pharmacist in health care. Pharmacists having the courage to step up to a position of leadership, advocacy, and decision making and stepping out of the comfort zone of traditional dispensing roles to fully embrace the expanded pharmacy scope. Pharmacists are fearless when they make connections with patients, their families, and other health care professionals to fill their place in a patient's circle of care. Seeing pharmacists bravely moving forward towards achieving the best patient care, strong interprofessional collaboration and a bright, viable and sustainable future for pharmacy. Lastly, being open-minded and having bold optimism about the future of the pharmacy profession.

#FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy

Kelly Hu, Senior Stick, thinks #FearlessPharmacy lies in pharmacists advocating for a full scope of practice.

With the role of pharmacists advancing, pharmacists shouldn't shy away from using their full scope of practice. Pharmacists need to build a foundation of respect and recognition for the roles that other disciplines play in the healthcare system, and vice versa.

#FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy

#FearlessPharmacy for Amy Lamb, PAS Board Member means her role is a patient advocate in her day to day practice.

Fearless pharmacy practice means my role as a patient advocate in my day to day practice, especially when it comes to the complexities and poor understanding of women's health issues. I offer a unique role as a functional, hormonal and natural medicine expert, an area of research that is often misunderstood, neglected, and ostracized by current healthcare standards. To spite the negative perception of non-drug interventions by healthcare practitioners, an immense number of patients use and require these types of therapies every day, and some of them are life-changing. Patients who choose to use complementary medicines need a healthcare partner to help guide them through their therapies, without judgment, so that they can screen for major risk factors and requirements for conventional medicine. Often this means research and training in areas of medicine that are not well understood, and educating other health care professionals on their behalf. Being fearless in my practice is stepping out of standardized 'one-size-fits-all' guidelines and assessing the patient in front of me. Often, a patient will have personalized factors in their life that have contributed to their illness; things like diet, stress, genetics, vitamin and hormone deficiencies, allergies and exposures, home and food security, institutionalized racism and even occupation. Being a fearless pharmacist is seeing the deficits in the care and wellbeing of our patients within the current system and recognizing that we can do MORE to care for people than just try to fit them into our guidelines. I am treating the patient behind the disease, and these personalized approaches to health are effective, evidenced, and an elevated level of care that improves the health outcomes of all Canadians.

#FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy 

Lindsey Ziegler, PAS Board Member, sees #FearlessPharmacy as what lies within the fearless pharmacist.

Advocacy through educational opportunities, the promotion of our skills at a grassroots level and through pharmacist-patient interactions, pharmacy can reduce the ambiguity of how media platforms portray pharmacists. Pharmacists can drive forward the profession with self-advocacy. It is no secret that the clinical services provided by pharmacists improve patient outcomes. Changing the perception of the profession through advocacy initiatives and moving away from a technical perception to a clinical focus needs to be emphasized. Fearless pharmacy is maximizing the role of a pharmacist through the promotion of their expanded scope and collaborative practice initiatives to patients, government and other health care providers. This  will ultimately optimize patient outcomes and push pharmacists where they need to be.” #FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists  #SKPharmacy

George Furneaux, PAS Vice-Chair, wants to see pharmacists continue to increase their cognitive services.

My vision of #FearlessPharmacy has been to provide a practice where pharmacists can use their skills to provide unique services.

Over the years I have worked with the professional pharmacy bodies to help lay the groundwork for these services. I have always felt pharmacists have a great knowledge set, combined with cognitive skills, and recognition by the province as underutilized trained professionals can help our patients to healthier lives.

Fearless pharmacy is assembling a team that is committed to using their knowledge over many aspects of pharmacy like med consultations, diabetes education, COPD and Asthma review, injections, travel medicine, hormone therapy, opioid management, and minor ailments. The team can provide our community with confidence in their health needs and in combination with other medical resources changing their lives for the better.

I truly believe cognitive services needs will be the direction pharmacy must go to help our patients. Access and timing are sometimes the main contributors to this need. Pharmacists are still the most accessible health care resource. Better utilization of our pharmacists by our health care system will create an envied health care system even with all the challenges of cost and busy lives. As more capabilities are recognized I feel pharmacists will become more supportive in the cognitive areas. The most awesome part is pharmacists are in almost every community to help serve these needs.

The fearless part is the pharmacist, by themselves and or in teams will continue to expand services and patient relationships for all our communities. Combine this with government recognition pharmacy has a great future ahead. 

#FearlessPharmacy #RethinkPharmacists #SKPharmacy

John Stanzeleit, PAS Chair,  wants to utilize the tools that pharmacists have been given.

Pharmacy has seen many changes over the last decade; technology expanded the scope of practice and our place in the health care system and team to name a few. My vision of being a fearless pharmacist is determined in how we best utilize the tools we have been given. I began practicing pharmacy in the early 1990s and the pharmacist role was more reactive; receive the prescription order, fill and counsel.

The times, the demands and expectations of the patient have all changed.  The pharmacist must now be proactive! Our time spent behind the counter is transforming to providing direct to patient services.  Specialty consultations, diagnosing self-care prescribing, educational services, injection administration, and pharmacy outreach programs are a part of today’s pharmacy practice We, as pharmacists, need to adapt and excel in this new environment. This can be a difficult transition, especially for the more experienced pharmacist. 

To be fearless, a pharmacy must embrace our new reality, not as a novelty service, but to incorporate it as an essential part of our practice. Fearless is the new graduating pharmacists who embrace this role as the new normal. What professional services will pharmacy provide in their future that will take the new graduate out of their comfort zone?

My hope through all the changes in our industry is that the core value of building and maintaining relationships with our patients will remain at the heart of what we do. Being fearless pharmacists will always need to be about doing what is best for the patient.

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Christine Hrudka, CPhA Chair, and PAS Rep  wants to increase female leadership in pharmacy and spoke to The Star Phoenix on July 5, 2019, about this change.

When I initially got rejected to be a pharmacy owner, I used many of my male friends, my allies, to help me. That was when a bell went off for me, that we need to help each other. It can’t be just women. It needs to be women and men. Women make up 60 to 70 percent of staff pharmacists, and it’s clear that they are consistently overrepresented at the staff level, but underrepresented among managers and owners. Only one-third of pharmacy owners across Canada are women, which means that 30 percent of staff pharmacists are men, but they hold two-thirds of all the pharmacy owner, manager and board member positions.

See the full article here.

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As a part of the PAS mission, PAS advocates for the contribution to healthcare through pharmacists and patient programs and services. Pharmacists are members of the healthcare team,  providing services and care that is far beyond the traditional view of pharmacy. The videos from PAS members below show the kind of care pharmacists provide and the impact it can have on patients.

Mike Stuber, Regina

Mike is a clinical pharmacist specializing in HIV treatment and prevention, who operates the only pharmacist-let PrEP clinic in Canada.

A Canadian Pharmacist's Story: No Stigma Policy

Melanie McLeod, Regina

Melanie is one of two psychiatric pharmacists in Saskatchewan. Her pharmacy specializes in mental health care.

How can you feel safe about your prescription?

Do you know which types of injections a pharmacist can provide?

Is a pharmacist really authorized to prescribe medications?

How critical is the role of a hospital pharmacist during your stay?

What are some benefits of a pharmacist having access to your lab-test results?

Are pharmacists trained to provide preventative health care?