Get Started in Consultant Pharmacy

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There are a couple of ASCP resources that can be extremely helpful when getting started in consultant pharmacy. First, ASCP offers a day-long certificate training workshop. The course is called the "Fundamentals of Consultant Pharmacy Practice." It is usually held in conjunction with ASCP's Annual Meeting and Exhibition in November and ASCP's Spring Conference + Exhibition in May. The workshop has several speakers who provide an overview of the LTC industry; tips on how to conduct a medication regimen review and communicate clinical recommendations to physicians and nursing facility staff; an overview of the federal nursing home regulations; insight into a state Department of Health survey; and more. Another resource that can be quite helpful is ASCP's "Getting Started Kit." It contains a variety of ASCP publications.

  • A 3-ring binder containing the federal nursing home regulations titled "The Consultant Pharmacist's Guide to Nursing Facility Regulations and the Survey Process"
  • A spiral-bound book outlining all of the responsibilities of the consultant pharmacist in a nursing home (some of which is applicable to other settings) titled the "Consultant Pharmacist Handbook"
  • A sample Policy & Procedure Manual to use when a facility asks for help developing or revising policies and procedures on certain aspects of pharmacy services or medication management -- titled "Policies & Procedures: Pharmacy Services for Nursing Facilities"
  • Plus several clinical reference cards and other items.

Since understanding the federal nursing home regulations is often one of the biggest hurdles to getting started in nursing facility consulting, ASCP has created content that contains background information and the most recent updates to the regulations.

MED-PASS, ASCP's publishing partner, also has a variety of forms that can be helpful to consultant pharmacists when first starting. These forms provide a quick and easy way to document the consultant pharmacist's visit and communicate recommendations. In addition to the Web site, MED-PASS can also be contacted via phone. Call 1-800-438-8884 and ask for a sample packet of consultant pharmacist forms.

If you decide you instead want to use computer software to document and report your clinical recommendations, ASCP maintains a list of all the consultant pharmacist software companies and their Web sites. Most of these companies also exhibit at ASCP's Annual Meeting and Spring Conference.

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