Because of the aging population and the rising incidence of cancer it is expected that in the next 5-10 years, there will be a shortage of oncology physicians in the US. In 2007 the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) reported that by 2020, the increased demand for oncology services would exceed the increased supply of oncology physicians by about 34%. In a 2014 update, ASCO confirmed the earlier information, predicting a shortfall in the number of oncology providers to keep up with the increasing demand for oncology services. They estimated that by 2025 there will be a 40% increase in the need for oncology services with only a 25% increase in the number of oncology physicians.
In May, health care industry insiders and outsiders alike were stunned. A report announced medical errors are the third leading cause of death.
Me? I’m not stunned. Forgive me, but this is not news. We’re coming up on 17 years since the release of To Err is Human, the Institute of Medicine’s damning report on patient safety, and we still see similar headlines every few years. The fault lies with our uncoordinated system of care, with medications being the least coordinated of all.
The Pharmacy profession is at a pivotal time in the development and movement for pharmacist provider status. This essential recognition not only sets the stage for reimbursement for clinical services by pharmacists but also defines the actual roles or responsibilities for Advanced Practice Pharmacists.
A board certified pharmacist’s commitment to career-long learning and continuing competence is an important differentiator of a certification program compared to a pharmacy degree, a pharmacy residency program, or a practice-based continuing education certificate of completion. The knowledge and skills required of a pharmacist specialist evolves as treatment guidelines change and new medications are available to patients.
The Value of Certification
As I write this month’s blog I am attending a national convening organized by the American Board of Nursing Specialties designed to discuss the value of certification. I am very pleased that the Board of Pharmacy Specialties is one of 26 different organizations from nursing, medicine, occupational therapy and various testing vendors supporting this multi- day meeting.
During the month of January, I had the unique opportunity of serving as the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) Extern. As a fourth year student pharmacist, I aspire to pursue a career path focused in ambulatory care. I can foresee board certification assisting in validating my knowledge, skills, experience and allowing me to provide the highest level of direct patient care.
In 1976, as the US celebrated its 200 birthday, there was little fanfare around the birth of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS), in fact our birth name was Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties. The launch of BPS presaged the anticipated evolution of the pharmacy profession, as we embarked on a path of deeper clinical engagement to impact the safe and effective use of medications well before a prescription is written.
I am writing this edition of the BPS Leadership Blog as the 50th ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in New Orleans concludes. While the growth of this meeting from its humble beginnings in 1966 with less than a 1000 attendees to close to 25,000 people is remarkable, what is also remarkable is how our profession has developed over these 50 years.
On September 11, 2015 I departed Sacramento Airport for Vienna, Austria. The significance of the date did not escape me as I sat in the international terminal at LAX, waiting to board a 10-hour flight to Dusseldorf Germany.
Following the 2012 tragedy involving the New England Compounding Center (NECC) and other similar albeit smaller compounding misadventures, the public and healthcare professions pushed for improved safety of compounded drugs, primarily by seeking regulatory reform.