Many student readers of Management Tips will pursue a post-graduate residency and go on to a career as a clinical pharmacist. Others might have the determination and/or good fortune to establish a clinical position in a traditional or niche setting. While there is little doubt that you will receive guidance from multiple mentors, it is also helpful to read about best practices, ideas, and do’s and don’ts when establishing a new practice.
Gupta and Williams describe the pressing need to identify and develop new ambulatory care practice sites, particularly given society’s increasing bent toward ambulatory care and considering the growing number of PharmD programs around the country with mandates for good sites for their practice faculty.1 Their paper provides recommendations to help clinical faculty determine whether a potential pharmacy practice site will be able to provide adequate resources and support to establish a successful practice. This may be challenging to pharmacy practice faculty in settings where clinical pharmacy services have never been utilized. The paper discusses preparation required prior to approaching a new practice site, assessing the need for physical requirements, meeting key personnel, marketing clinical skills and services, and evaluating the practice site. Preparation includes having a clear mission and vision of the pharmacist services (possibly including several protocols), ensuring that stakeholders have an understanding of the pharmacy services requiring site support, and resources for the pharmacist, including space, equipment, and access to health information technology and patient records.
Pharmacists must demonstrate value creation for implementing new services and especially establishing an entirely new practice. Those establishing a new practice are inherently managers and must begin to think that way even prior to seeing the first patient. You must demonstrate to those with budgetary authority that what you will provide will be carefully planned and implemented and will cost the organization less than the benefit you will bring to them.
Additional information about Creating and Managing Value and Business Planning in Pharmacy Operations can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.
1Gupta V, Williams E. Establishing a new ambulatory care practice site as a pharmacy practice faculty. Pharmacy. 2018;6: doi:10.3390/pharmacy6040111