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CEO Blog: Scott Knoer, MS, PharmD, FASHP

Scott Knoer is the 13th executive vice president and CEO of the American Pharmacists Association. Before joining APhA in 2020, Scott served as Chief Pharmacy Officer for the Cleveland Clinic. He also served in pharmacy leadership roles at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Read more about Scott

Published on Friday, November 12, 2021

Workplace conditions and well-being

We hear you! Your pharmacy workplace is stressed and stretched. You have rapidly growing concerns for patient safety. Still, you are there—every day—to care for your patients despite conditions that seem to be working against you.

APhA is addressing your concerns.

First, know that we are working every day to stop PBM reimbursement practices that are unnecessarily taking revenues from pharmacies making it difficult to afford the increased staffing you need.

Second, we know that you want to talk about your workplace experiences and recommend solutions

but you don’t because you are fearful of employer retribution.

  • APhA and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) launched Pharmacy Workplace and Well-being Reporting (PWWR)—a safe place to report your positive and negative workplace concerns. Reports to PWWR are anonymous and confidential. Each response is aggregated and analyzed by the Alliance for Patient Medication Safety, a federally recognized Patient Safety Organization (PSO), to tell a powerful story that will spark change and workplace improvements.

Third, state boards of pharmacy tell us they need quantitative data demonstrating how working conditions contribute to stress and jeopardize patient safety. We jumped on that! APhA and NASPA fielded the National Pharmacy Workplace survey to meet these calls. Watch for the preliminary results of the findings!

  • Some state boards are also implementing recommendations from the 2019 APhA-led national conference, Enhancing Well-being and Resilience Among the Pharmacist Workforce—calling for state boards to
    • Understand the relationship between pharmacists’ well-being and patient safety when promulgating rules; and
    • Proactively review the legislative and regulatory requirements for pharmacies to remove unnecessary burdens on pharmacists.
  • The Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy put in place a new program for pharmacists to report unsafe working conditions—including inadequate staffing—in their pharmacies. I encourage Oklahoma pharmacists to use this report.

We have heard the metrics you must meet appear to have no basis in reality or understanding of the pharmacy workplace. We’re supporting states taking this issue on:

  • A  California law bars using “pharmacy metrics” to evaluate pharmacy personnel’s productivity and performance.
  • The Ohio Board of Pharmacy fielded a survey that led to a state-appointed advisory committee to address pharmacy workload.

Fourth, APhA and NASPA developed the Pharmacist’s Fundamental Responsibilities and Rights, which addresses the rights you need to fulfill your responsibilities and spark changes in your pharmacy!

We cannot continue to safely serve the health care needs of our patients without the necessary human and system resources during the pandemic and beyond.

As proven health care providers, we need appropriate recognition and support!

I want to hear from you.

Send your thoughts to me at wellbeing@aphanet.org and find more information at: www.pharmacist.com/wellbeing

 
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