American College of Clinical Pharmacy
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ACCP Report - March 2019

About the Standards of Practice for Clinical Pharmacists

In 2014, ACCP established specific expectations for clinical pharmacists when it released the Standards of Practice for Clinical Pharmacists, supporting board certification and residency training in order to ensure that practitioners possess the clinical competencies necessary to practice in team-based, direct patient care environments. The Standards also serve as a reference for those designing and assessing clinical pharmacy education and training programs. In addition to articulating the clinical pharmacist’s process of care and methods of documenting practice activities, the Standards articulate the clinical pharmacist’s expected involvement in collaborative, team-based practice and privileging; professional development and maintenance of competence; professionalism and ethics; research and scholarship; and other professional responsibilities. The Standards define what colleague health professionals, policy-makers, and the public can and should expect of clinical pharmacists.

Past ACCP Presidents Gary C. Yee and Curtis E. Haas comment on the need for such standards in their editorial Standards of Practice for Clinical Pharmacists: The Time Has Come, in which they highlight the lack of a standardized and reproducible practice by which clinical pharmacists optimize patients’ medication-related outcomes. Moreover, they recognize that without a well-defined, consistent process of delivering collaborative patient care, other members of the health care team are uncertain what to expect from clinical pharmacists. This can be a barrier to ensuring health professional colleagues that clinical pharmacists can reliably contribute to improved patient outcomes in team-based care settings.

The Standards of Practice for Clinical Pharmacists document is important to the future of clinical pharmacy. In addition to serving as a reference for those designing and assessing clinical pharmacy education and training programs, it is an important resource for policy-makers involved in evaluating the role of clinical pharmacists in current and emerging approaches to health care delivery toward optimizing medication therapy.

The Standards also drive many of ACCP’s professional affairs and advocacy activities, including its ongoing Medicare Benefit Initiative, engagement as a sponsoring organization of the ASHP Commission on Credentialing (COC), membership in the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy (CCP), co-petitioner efforts with colleague pharmacy organizations to recognize new Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS)-approved specialties, and the funding of ACCP’s $2.4 million grant to study the implementation of comprehensive medication management (CMM) in primary care practices.

Stay tuned for future “About” features, including those focusing on ACCP’s involvement in COC, CCP, and the advancement of CMM.