Nicki L. Hilliard, PharmD, MHSA, BCNP, FAPhA is a Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Pharmacy. Hilliard has pharmacy practice experience in community (independent and chain) pharmacy and free medical clinics, but has focused most of her career to be an innovative educator of nuclear pharmacy practice and management. She has expertise in interprofessional education, online learning and educational technology. Hilliard is a former APhA-APPM President and APhA Trustee, serving on the APhA Governmental Affairs, Strategic Planning and Policy Standing Committees. She served on the Board of Pharmacy Specialties and is the current Chair of the Pharmacy Provider Status Task Force and the Government Affairs Committee for the Arkansas Pharmacists Association. She received her BSPharm and PharmD from UAMS College of Pharmacy and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has been recognized with the APhA William H. Briner Distinguished Achievement in Nuclear Pharmacy Practice, APhA Award of Merit, APhA Fellow, Bowl of Hygeia and the APhA Good Government Pharmacist of the Year.
How do you envision pharmacy practice 10 years from now, and what should APhA do to lead us to that vision?
The upcoming years will bring major changes to healthcare as we transition from a fee-for-service to an outcomes driven payment system. This change provides great opportunities for the pharmacy profession to step up to be included in a patient centered, team based care model. We know that pharmacist-provided care can have a positive impact on patient lives and the healthcare system.
The APhA will need be a driving force as a voice for the profession during this transition and empower our members with the information, education and tools to succeed. APhA’s continued leadership in the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition and the Pharmacists Provide Care Campaign can be the catalyst for change including the following specific strategies:
- Team Based Care—Foster and support interprofessional education and practice including the development and implementation of business and payment models for pharmacists in a patient centered medical home or accountable care organizations. Educating pharmacists in expanded healthcare roles and implementation of collaborative practice agreements with physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants will assist in making team-based care a reality.
- Communication—It is imperative for pharmacists to communicate more effectively with other practitioners. APhA’s work with the HIT Collaborative is vital to increase pharmacists read/write access to the electronic medical record to improve patient care.
- Recognition—Improve recognition and perceptions of pharmacists as healthcare providers. We are very close to achieving recognition by Congress in the Social Security Act. This is a huge step in the plan, but it will be our challenge to engage pharmacists to practice at the top of their license to improve patient and healthcare outcomes.
Working together we can help achieve the Triple Aim by improving the patient care experience, improving the overall health of our communities, and lowering costs.