“The level of member engagement in the Pharmacy Network is phenomenal. The sharing of information and best practices among members of the network are highly valued and the relationships that are formed in committees and on project teams serve members well as they advance in their careers.”

—Karl Matuszewski, MS, PharmD, Vizient vice president of network pharmacy

From high-cost therapies and drug shortages to new regulations impacting pharmacy practitioners, the 5,000+ participants of the Vizient Pharmacy Network are working together to address some of the profession’s most critical issues. One of the largest and most active Vizient member networks, the Pharmacy Network engages in a wide variety of projects related to clinical practice, quality, safety, professional advancement, business development and cost saving.

“The level of member engagement in the Pharmacy Network is phenomenal,” says Karl Matuszewski, MS, PharmD, Vizient vice president of network pharmacy. “The sharing of information and best practices among members of the network are highly valued and the relationships that are formed in committees and on project teams serve members well as they advance in their careers.”

The Pharmacy Network is led by an executive committee composed of 22 individuals from member health care organizations across the country. This committee develops a strategic plan every three years and supports 11 topical committees: ambulatory pharmacy development; antimicrobial stewardship; business of pharmacy enterprise; cancer care; pediatric pharmacy; practice advancement; professional development and workforce; programming, innovation and engagement; quality, safety and compliance; research; and supply chain optimization.

At any given time, each committee is working on between three and six projects that help advance the network’s strategic priorities.

In addition to committee-driven work, the Pharmacy Network includes an online community platform which provides an opportunity for every network member to connect with each other, post queries and exchange insights in 13 topical groups. The online community also offers:

  • Resources—includes member-generated assets along with Vizient and external industry resources, which enable you to learn from your peers, compare and contrast components of your pharmacy strategy, gain insights from independent thought leadership and stay abreast of key trends shaping health care today
  • Meetings and Webinars—includes information and links to upcoming programs as well as links to recording and presentations from past meetings
  • Notices—includes network news as well as links to relevant Vizient news

Addressing member-driven priorities

The Pharmacy Network’s structure ensures that issues and solutions are member driven at every level. During 2020 a new advocacy subcommittee was formed to monitor, evaluate and address important issues that affect the pharmacy enterprise. Other areas identified in the 2020–23 strategic plan include focusing on big data/artificial intelligence and developing a workforce for the future.

According to Sybil Thomas, PharmD, MBA, Vizient senior networks director, the projects that the committees tackle arise from member input. “The executive committee has its finger on the pulse of the membership. As issues bubble up from the membership, the committee prioritizes the biggest issues that are most relevant to members,” she says.

In February, the Pharmacy Network released the High-Value Pharmacy Enterprise Project. A combination of literature review, consensus statements and performance recommendations, the in-depth report addresses clinical and business services and makes technology recommendations.

The report is designed to be a resource for health system pharmacy leaders and c-suite executives that identifies areas of published research of statistically significant improvement in patient outcomes in pharmacy services and roles. Through eight key domains, it addresses an expansive list of topics, including patient care services in the ambulatory, specialty pharmacy and inpatient settings; safety and quality; pharmacy workforce; information technology, including data analytics and information management; business practices; and leadership. A summary of the report was published in the March edition of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

“The report is a valuable roadmap for any pharmacy or health system leader to advance pharmacy practice to optimize medication management for patients and strengthen the overall performance of health systems,” says Matuszewski.

Additional highlights of the Pharmacy Network’s 2020 accomplishments include:

  • A December 2020 virtual meeting with 1,538 attendees from 303 member hospitals
  • A Fall 2020 virtual meeting with 325 attendees from 163 member hospitals
  • Conducting 13 national surveys on pharmacy practice
  • Conducting 13 educational webinars (with continuing education credits) on regulatory issues, practice issues, and residency-focused topics with more than 545 attendees
  • Producing 28 resources shared on the Pharmacy Network online community platform
  • Networking by 5,092 pharmacists on the Pharmacy Network online community platform discussion group

Getting involved in the pharmacy network

The Pharmacy Network includes pharmacy leaders, their staffs and pharmacy residents from Vizient member hospitals and health systems. In addition, because pharmacy issues are closely intertwined with departments across hospital and outpatient settings, the Pharmacy Network is open to members across all Vizient’s networks. “Pharmacy and medications impact the entire hospital,” says Sybil Thomas, PharmD, MBA, Vizient senior networks director. “We have people in quality roles, for example, who participate in the community platform because they are interested in quality-related activities and regulations.”

The Pharmacy Network is one of more than 25 Vizient discipline-specific and segment- and topic-based networks that connect colleagues with similar roles, organization types and/or interests.

To access the Pharmacy Network, members should log on to their member dashboard at Vizient’s website and select “My Networks" and then “Pharmacy Network.” For additional questions regarding access, email the Pharmacy Network Manager.

Published: April 27, 2021