A FOCUS ON CLINICIAN WELL-BEING LEADS TO OPTIMAL PATIENT CARE

Paul W. Bush, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, FASHP President, ASHP, Chief Pharmacy Officer, Duke University Hospital. USA   

Our profession’s focus on assuring optimal medication usage has been proven to result in improved patient outcomes. Pharmacists are the medication specialists who work collaboratively with the health care team to assure medications are used effectively.  Our clinical staff work in a fast-paced, complex and challenging work environment.  This presentation identifies the important role that pharmacy leaders have in supporting front-line pharmacy clinicians and assuring their well-being and resilience.  Factors that lead to a stressful work environment and strategies to prevent burnout are discussed.

Increasingly, health care leaders such as chief operating officers and medical directors are clinicians with administrative education and training that maintain a clinical practice.  The critical importance of developing and supporting pharmacists as clinician leaders that possess both clinical and administrative expertise is discussed.  Our profession should support increasing the number of “white coat” pharmacy administrative leaders that maintain a clinical practice.

The presentation concludes with a discussion of the importance of a well-trained and supported pharmacy technician workforce.   Our profession should act urgently to increase technician education and training programs to meet current and future demands.  In addition, we must increase support for our technician workforce.   Supporting our technicians is good for patients and for our front-line pharmacists. Well-trained technicians provide the support our pharmacists need, so they have time to work more closely with their patients.