2016 Pharmacy Forecast: More Patient Empowerment

Health-system pharmacists must look beyond immediate operational challenges and consider the larger trends that will ultimately affect their practices.

Health-system pharmacists must look beyond immediate operational challenges and consider the larger trends that will ultimately affect their practices.

The Pharmacy Forecast 2016-2020, published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Foundation, analyzes pharmacy trends and provides strategies for health-system pharmacists to evolve with their practice.

The forecast is written annually by a panel of pharmacists believed to have (1) expertise in health-system pharmacy practice, (2) knowledge of trends and new developments in this area, and (3) demonstrated ability to think analytically about the future of pharmacy practice in hospitals and health systems.

This year, 159 nominated pharmacists analyzed pharmacy trends that fell into 8 domains:

  • Health care delivery and financing
  • Population health management
  • Drug development and therapeutics
  • Pharmaceutical marketplace
  • Data and technology
  • Pharmacy workforce
  • Patient empowerment
  • Ethics

During a session at the 2015 ASHP Midyear meeting, a panel of Pharmacy Forecast 2016-2020 authors broke down each of the trends outlined in the report and spoke at length about the forces behind growing patient empowerment.

Panelist James M. Hoffman, PharmD, MS, BCPS, FASHP, of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital described to Pharmacy Times how patient empowerment in particular is one of the most significant trends affecting pharmacy practice going forward.

“More and more decision-making, more tools, more things are being put to the patient as a partner in care,” he said at ASHP Midyear. “Providers and organizations need to be prepared to work that way with patients.”

Dr. Hoffman said an increasing number of patients will look to be more involved in their health care as health technology continues to respond to that demand.

“Technology enables that kind of interaction and patient empowerment,” he noted. “There’s really a growing expectation from a health-system perspective that patients be engaged.”

Moderator David Zilz, BSPharm, MS, FASHP, closed the session by reminding attendees that the Pharmacy Forecast 2016-2020 is “not prescriptive,” but intended to be “a stimulus to strategic thinking and planning” going forward in health-system pharmacy.