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CPNP has worked aggressively the past two years to significantly ramp up its efforts toward building awareness and introducing more audiences to BCPPs. With the substantial work occurring in professional and government affairs, CPNP will be offering a specific forum during CPNP 2021 for members to learn more about the government and professional affairs deliverables. Plan to join us at the Advocating for You Forum to learn more. All CPNP members are encouraged to attend, even if they are unable to register for the meeting.

In anticipation of this Forum, this article provides some background on the exciting contributions made in the professional affairs arena the past 2 years.

Building Awareness

In 2019, CPNP created a public awareness campaign in the form of an infographic and 7 practice profiles (cpnp.org/psychpharm). We continue to promote these resources through social media and elsewhere.

An important part of awareness is meeting people where they are. In 2019, a task force was formed to author a paper on the Role of BCPPs for an external health care audience. It includes 4 physician authors, and it was accepted for publication last fall with publication date pending. The heavily-referenced article describes BCPP roles in multiple practice areas. Thanks go to Lisa Goldstone and the other authors for this valuable contribution.

Defining What BCPPs Do

Through these initiatives, it was challenging to describe what a BCPP does because BCPPs do so many different things in different settings. With that in mind, we conducted a significant survey in fall of 2019. After months of work and revision, we published two papers related to that study. We started with the Clinical Landscape Paper that laid out the extreme variance between practices and provides clarity around what BCPPs are doing in practice today. Thanks go to Rick Silvia and the other authors for this valuable paper building awareness of what BCPPs do.

The second paper from that survey is hot off the press with the March 2021 issue of the MHC. With prescriptive authority on everyone’s mind, the PA subcommittee dug into the survey results to distinguish between practices with and without prescriptive authority. The Prescriptive Authority Paper is packed with data, and some of the significant differences included years of licensure, VA vs non-VA, and whether funding came from the clinical site. Thanks go to Kelly Lee and others for this valuable paper building awareness of prescriptive authority among BCPPs.

Assembling the Evidence

Once people are aware of BCPPs, we want them to accept us as part of the mental health treatment team. The first step is for us to have a clear picture of the evidence ourselves. CPNP previously conducted a literature review that was published in 2015. A task force was formed in 2019 to update that literature review and find the best evidence for inclusion of psychiatric pharmacists. Members found 64 studies during their 5.5 year date range. It is a great place to start if you need to find evidence for your practice. One recommendation from the 2020 Impact Paper is for researchers to focus on capturing patient-level outcomes. Thanks to Amy Werremeyer and the members of the task force for this valuable argument for our acceptance as part of the team.

However, the world is accelerating, and advocacy demands access to the best current data without waiting for major lit review updates. Thus, a subcommittee took the work of the 2020 Impact Paper and streamlined the process to support continual monitoring of PubMed for new publications. Hopefully many of you visited the poster on this effort. This project will turn into published lit search updates, and they are considering what it might look like as a reference database. One recommendation from this group is that we need to improve the quality and quantity of studies that explicitly focus on the impact of BCPPs. Some strategies are being considered. If you are a BCPP who is writing up a project right now, a simple step is to indicate within the text that the pharmacist in question was a BCPP. Thanks to Jessica Ho and the subcommittee for this tool to increase acceptance of BCPPs.

A reminder that you can learn more about these papers and how they fit into CPNP’s ongoing advocacy efforts by attending the CPNP Forum on Our Future on Wednesday, April 21. All CPNP are encouraged to attend, even if they are unable to register for the meeting. These papers join other advocacy-related resources on the “See the Research” page of the web site.

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