Implementation of a pharmacist career ladder program

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Abstract

Purpose.

The implementation and outcomes of a pharmacist career ladder program (PCLP) at a tertiary care, academic medical center are described.

Summary.

A PCLP was developed at Yale-New Haven Hospital to guide career development, motivate staff to perform beyond their daily tasks and responsibilities, and recognize and retain high performers through professional advancement. The PCLP advancement criteria include specific requirements for excellence in five categories: level of training and experience, pharmacy practice, drug information, education and scholarship, and leadership. The PCLP is designed with four distinct tiers: clinical pharmacist, clinical pharmacist II, clinical pharmacy specialist, and clinical pharmacy specialist II. The specific criteria are increasingly challenging to achieve when moving up the ladder. Pharmacists may apply voluntarily each year for advancement. A PCLP review committee consisting of pharmacist peers and managers meets annually to discuss and vote on career advancement decisions. Since PCLP implementation, we have observed an increasing success rate for advancement (50% in 2013, 85% in 2014, and 100% in 2015) and a considerable increase in pharmacist participation in clinical and process improvement projects, as well as intervention and medication-use variance documentation.

Conclusion.

The implementation of a PCLP at a tertiary care, academic medical center provided an opportunity for frontline pharmacists to advance professionally and increased their participation and leadership in clinical and process improvement projects and drug-use policy and medication safety initiatives; the program also increased the number of pharmacists with specialty board certification and peer-reviewed publications.

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