Planning for Hospital Pharmacy Management, Now and in the Future

CSHP Hospital Pharmacy Management Task Force

Abstract


Where have all the pharmacy managers gone? This question has garnered the attention of hospital pharmacists across Canada in the wake of changing management roles, the appointment of nonpharmacist managers, and ongoing vacancies in formal leadership positions. There is substantial concern that demographic changes in the Canadian workforce throughout the next decade will exacerbate the current shortage of pharmacists willing and prepared to take on management positions. Just as professional development in the areas of patient care, medication distribution technologies, advances in disease management, and the human genome are all of prime importance to the delivery of health care, so too is the development of pharmacy leaders and managers. An issue of this importance demands and has been receiving attention. In response to shifts in the roles and functions of hospital pharmacy managers, CSHP developed a position paper, which was published in 2005.1 A related editorial published in the same issue of CJHP spoke to the need for strong hospital pharmacy leaders to guide the future direction of hospital pharmacy practice.2 Numerous opinions have been expressed by CSHP members, in the form of letters to the editor of CJHP and discussions in formal and informal settings at CSHP Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and Professional Practice Conferences.3,4 A workshop on hospital pharmacy management issues, sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, addressed issues related to the recruitment and retention of heads of hospital pharmacy, the nurturing of the next generation of hospital pharmacy managers, and the impacts of changing demographics.5 In 2005, CSHP Council appointed the Hospital Pharmacy Management Task Force to explore the current practice environment and to identify factors contributing to the diminishing number of pharmacists available for management positions in pharmacy. CSHP and the task force recognize that the apparent lack of interest in management roles did not develop overnight and, similarly, that the problem will not be rectified in that timeframe. Our profession needs to first understand the numerous factors involved and then take appropriate steps to change the course of hospital pharmacy management in the future. This report provides an overview of the work of the task force, which will be of interest to all hospital pharmacists, and outlines recommendations for CSHP, for current pharmacy managers, and for staff pharmacists.

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The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
ISSN 1920-2903 (Online)