It may seem like an extra burden to join and spend money on yet another professional organization, but the benefits of doing so are immense. When you join a professional organization that aligns with your core values, you can assess opportunities for becoming more involved, seek opportunities for networking, and drill down to your area of passion.
Active, engaged, and motivated members are agents of change. And it’s not all on you – QS/1 supports some of the most important community and long-term care (LTC) pharmacy organizations.
Representing Your Interests Loud and Clear
Pharmacy involves a lot of moving parts. Though some of those parts are working in the background, they still affect the health of your business and your ability to serve patients. QS/1 represents your interests by being members of the following organizations:
American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
The APhA is the largest association representing pharmacists across all practice settings with the central goal of highlighting pharmacists’ importance and value as integral members of the overall healthcare team. They are leading the charge for pharmacists to be given provider status, which not only allows patients more access to valuable care but also allows pharmacists to seek payment for the services they provide.
American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (ASAP)
As pharmacists’ roles continue to evolve and expand, technology becomes even more integral to processes. ASAP works to “foster understanding of the role that technology plays in assisting pharmacists to promote patient safety and the proper use of medications, comply with laws and regulations, and operate their practices more efficiently…”1 Just consider the importance of the ASAP Prescription Drug Monitoring Reporting Standard and how it affects your business. QS/1 stands with you when voting on standards.
American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP)
According to the ASCP, by 2029, the elderly ages 65 and older will make up about 20 percent of the U.S. population.2 ASCP is the only international society devoted to medication management and improved overall health outcomes for this demographic. Not only does this organization support pharmacists practicing at the top of their licenses with provider status, it is concerned with legislative and regulatory issues that affect senior care pharmacists, like exemption from Pharmacy Lock-in for LTC. Even if you’re not a senior care pharmacist, you can support the initiatives. We do.
Health Level 7 (HL7®) International
The use of electronic health information has improved overall patient care, and HL7 International provides “a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, storage, sharing, and retrieval” of that information.3
Being a part of this organization signals our thought leadership in the industry. Not only are we on our game when it comes to the current standard, but we’re influencing the next standard with our voting power.
National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL)
Those who service LTC and post-acute care settings have an advocate in us and this organization that supports their legislative and regulatory interests. They direct issue briefs to Congress and request action and support.
National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)
From conversing with the media to testifying before Congress, NACDS works strategically to ensure pharmacists’ voices are heard. Often when pharmacists think chain, they think CVS or Walgreens, but NACDS considers a chain a company operating four or more retail pharmacies open to the public.
Its mission is to “advance a pro-patient and pro-pharmacy agenda. For the ultimate benefit of the consumers served by NACDS members, the mission of NACDS is to advance the interests and objectives of the chain community pharmacy industry, by fostering its growth and promoting its role as a provider of healthcare services and consumer products.”4
The association cares about what’s going to advance the practice of pharmacy and maintain its viability in communities, and you can get involved on different levels. For example, the NACDS Political Action Committee allows members to support campaigns of those candidates who support the association’s mission, while the RxIMPACT advocacy program lets you to take a more central role in igniting change – from meeting with members of Congress in your store to addressing members of Congress on Capitol Hill.
National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA)
The customer-centric, high-touch approach of community pharmacy increasingly shows its value as the healthcare landscape changes. Community pharmacies are a cornerstone of healthcare, and pharmacists are on the front line doing what they do best – helping patients get and stay healthy. This association represents 22,000 independent community pharmacies that make up 36 percent of U.S. retail pharmacies.5,6 NCPA focuses more on the business aspect of pharmacy, lobbying on its behalf to push and back legislation that allows community pharmacies to compete and thrive in an über-competitive marketplace.
National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP®)
NCPDP is involved in making decisions about standards that affect the pharmacy industry and impact you. We collaborate with like-minded individuals who want to lead change and not simply be reactive to it. There are work groups, task groups, and stakeholder action groups. All of these bring their own opinions and experiences to the table but work for the common good of the industry. The organization has the government’s ear; many of its standards, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH), and Meaningful Use (MU), are named in federal legislation.
Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC)
“The number of people using nursing facilities, alternative residential care places, or home care services is projected to increase from 15 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050,” which means the number of prescriptions being dispensed will increase, and this organization is the only one exclusively representing the interests of LTC pharmacies.7
State Pharmacy Associations
Because pharmacy practice is monitored and controlled by individual states, these associations are really important. They are the best resources to know what’s happening in your state regarding requirements and regulations. If you want to foster relationships with legislators and influence their decisions on a local level, this is where grassroots advocacy begins.
Silence is Not an Option
More than ever, it’s essential to speak on topics that support the success of pharmacy. Community and LTC pharmacy organizations are catalysts for change, so it’s important to recognize how central they are to the well-being of your business. We want you to join us, from communicating with QS/1 to ensure your voice is heard to networking with your peers, staying up-to-date on industry trends and regulations, and influencing local, state, and national legislation. Not only does your voice matter but being informed does too.
Though you may be members and know about these organizations, did you know QS/1 is also representing you behind the scenes? Ed Vess, R.Ph., serves as a liaison to several community and LTC pharmacy organizations. To learn more, reach out to Ed at 800.845.7558, ext. 7519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sonny Anderson, JMS Fellow: ASAP Board of Directors
Jon Bell, Assistant Product Manager, SharpRx: NCPDP voting member, NCPA, SCPhA
Justin Buckland, Product Manager, POS and HME: NACDS and SCPhA
Kevin Crowe, Sr. Development Engineer: NCPDP task group co-chair and member
Michael Dodd, Pharm.D., R.Ph., Assistant Product Manager, NRx: APhA, NCPA, and SCPhA
Lisa Fowler, Senior Interfaces Analyst: NCPA, NCPDP, HL7 International
Crystal Ratliff, Vendor Relations Manager: NCPDP, SCPhA
Jessica Swanger, Interface Analyst: HL7 International, SCPhA
Ed Vess, R.Ph., Senior Manager, Pharmacy Professional Services: APhA, ASAP, ASCP, NASL, NASP, NCPA, NCPDP task group member, SCPC, and SCPhA; participates in U.S. Food and Drug Administration and National Association of Boards of Pharmacy programs and serves on the S.C. Board of Pharmacy Practice and Technology Committee and S.C. Pharmacy Association House of Delegates on the Former President Academy
The American Society for Automation in Pharmacy. N.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2018.
Pollard, Kelvin and Paola Scommegna. Just How Many Baby Boomers Are There. Population Reference Bureau. April 16, 2014. Web. 27 Sep. 2018.
Health Level Seven International. N.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2018.
National Association of Chain Drug Stores. N.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2018.
Pharmacy Organizations for Independent Pharmacists to Join Right Now. Elements. May 24, 2018. Web. 28 Aug. 2018.
6 2017 NCPA Digest: A roadmap for independent community pharmacies. CardinalHealth™. Nov. 17, 2017. Web. 29 Aug. 2018.
7 Pharmacy in Long-Term Care 2018 Report. Access Marker Intelligence. Feb. 2018. Web. 30 Aug. 2018.