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Early this month, we had the opportunity to bring the AAPP Board of Directors together, face-to-face in Washington, DC for a 2-day retreat focused largely on our professional and government affairs goals and initiatives. Late one evening, we visited some of the monuments of DC that celebrate the significant historical leaders and time periods of our country. Seeing the remembrances of our country’s history lit up against the night sky was both moving and inspiring. It struck me that our profession and our AAPP is in one of those significant time periods of seismic shift. We are on the cusp of more…more data on our value as psychiatric pharmacists…more tools, resources and publications proving that value…more recognition.

The focal point of our retreat was on this key goal of our strategic plan:

Demonstrate and communicate the psychiatric pharmacy specialty’s impact on patient quality of life, clinical value, and economic outcomes.

This goal is critical to our mission and, as such, will be a long-term focus for AAPP as the home association for psychiatric pharmacy. We are fully committed to and boldly investing in this area of the association and the profession.

Over the past 18 months, we have had 44 volunteers on 11 new or revamped committees and task forces working diligently on projects related to this goal area. As you can see from the diagram below, our volunteers and staff have been focused on developing deliverables that communicate the “how” and “why” to integrating BCPPs into the health care team. The “how to integrate BCPPs” is being tackled through the development of position papers, practice profiles and best practices guides. The “why” is being tackled through the accumulation of current evidence and the charting of a path to accumulate more robust data to present the ideal evidence. Although you have already seen some deliverables in 2022, including the Vision Paper and the initial Outpatient Psychiatric Pharmacy Best Practice reports, you can anticipate much more in 2023 as detailed below. 

How to Integrate BCPPs

  • Psychotropic Stewardship: This paper furthers the psychotropic stewardship concept advocated for in the AAPP Vision Paper. This will include guidance on how to conduct the population-level review, including potential criteria and risk stratification guidance. At AAPP 2023, a session will introduce psychotropic stewardship alongside core outcomes recommendations.
  • The Role of Psychiatric Pharmacists in Mitigating Social Determinants of Health: A task force of members has authored a publication outlining the role of psychiatric pharmacists in this important area. Submission to public health journals is occurring now with a publication goal of late 2023.
  • The Role of Psychiatric Pharmacists in Substance Use Disorders: A subcommittee of the SUD Committee is authoring a publication outlining the role of psychiatric pharmacists in this important area. Submission to external journals is anticipated in mid-2023 with a publication goal of early 2024.
  • Outpatient Psychiatric Pharmacy Best Practice: Jumping off from the work already completed and published, the next step for this task force is the development of an assessment and implementation guide for the recommended best practices for psychiatric pharmacists in outpatient settings. This work builds on the previously identified 28 attributes of a best practice model. Members will have the opportunity to provide feedback, and the guide will launch before AAPP 2024.

Why Hire BCPPs?

  • Core Outcome Set Summit Results: A summit to identify outcomes that all psychiatric pharmacists should track in their research along with recommended measures, was completed in early November. The results will be published in 2023, and the joint stewardship-core outcomes session at AAPP 2023 will allow for further elaboration on the recommendations.
  • Systematic Literature Review: Already in operation for over 2 years, this committee is working to identify all primary research that demonstrates the impact of psychiatric pharmacists on patient and practice outcomes. Their work was foundational for developing the core outcome set, and they are continuing to enhance the data being tracked. This is never-ending work as new publications must be tracked annually. Their study of articles published 1960-2022 will be published in 2023.
  • Employer Resource Center: The goal of this task force is to develop resources to encourage hiring more psychiatric pharmacists and the creation of PGY2 residencies. Primary and secondary research regarding content design is complete (including interviews of over 10 employers), and work on resources has commenced with some anticipated to launch in 2023.
  • Ideal Research: The AAPP Board has accepted the recommendation of our Research Design Task Force to develop a research logic model, a reporting guideline, and a toolkit to support the design of collaborative research. All these will build up to a competitive grant program to support the creation of collaborative research, including elements of peer review and mentoring. This represents a significant multi-year financial and resource commitment by AAPP, but the Board recognizes the incredible value that will be gained through the publication of outcomes showcasing the impact of psychiatric pharmacists.

The above recognizes only a portion of the work being done by numerous committees and task forces in the advocacy arena. I can’t thank the dozens of volunteers and our Director of Strategic Initiatives Greg Payne enough for the amazing progress to date.

Throughout 2023, we will keep you apprised of our progress through this newsletter, the Forum on our Future at AAPP 2023, e-blasts, virtual membership updates, and social media. Thanks to the hard work of the leaders who have come before us, our volunteers, and our staff, we have the financial reserves to be aggressive and continue our investments in initiatives, volunteer growth, and staff expansion. We need you more than ever to lend your support as a member and a volunteer within AAPP. Please review our current volunteer openings and consider lending your time and talent to meet these increasing demands as we work collectively to move from “on the cusp” to “arrived.”

Happy Holidays to all of you!

Cindy Gutierrez, AAPP President

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25 Years!