Laird Harrison

October 14, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Should pharmacy students do residencies before working with patients? Does continuous infusion of beta-lactam antibiotics work better than intermittent dosing? How will the changes to the Beers Criteria affect clinical practice?

Pharmacists will take a deep dive into these and other hot topics at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) 2015 Global Conference from October 17 to 21.

"This is an outstanding meeting for clinical pharmacists, whether they be students, residents, fellows, other trainees, or those in practice," said program chair Robert Parker, PharmD, from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy in Memphis.

Erin Frazee, PharmD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, will present results from the BLING II trial, which compares continuous infusion with intermittent dosing of beta-lactam antibiotics in critically ill patients with severe sepsis.

Contrary to expectations from previous research, continuous infusion did not show an advantage in its primary end point of intensive care unit-free days at day 28.

BLING II Shake Up

The finding will shape practice as hospitals rethink whether to invest in the continuous infusion approach, Dr Frazee told Medscape Medical News.

Researchers will present original studies in more than 700 posters Sunday through Wednesday, and will participate in 17 podium sessions on Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Those posters judged to be the best will be featured in a Great Eight oral presentation Monday afternoon.

Much of the research explores the role of the pharmacist in measures of healthcare quality. "As far as pharmacy practice, the big thing is how medical care by a pharmacist affects the overall healthcare picture," said Gayle Scott, PharmD, from the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.

 
How is medical care by a pharmacist affecting the overall healthcare picture?
 

Researchers from the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in California are slated to describe how pharmacists on a palliative care team saved $100,000 by intervening in the care of 487 patients.

"One of the very interesting aspects of the original research at this meeting is that there will be a wide variety of posters from international colleagues," Dr Parker told Medscape Medical News. "There will be more international attendees than usual."

Organizers made a special effort to reach out to colleagues from other countries this year, he said. The San Francisco location makes the conference particularly attractive to researchers based in Asia, but many from Europe and the Middle East are also expected, he added.

Practice Ready

As for the educational program, among the highlights will be a discussion on whether PharmD graduates are ready to provide direct patient care, Dr Parker said.

John Murphy, PharmD, from the University of Arizona in Tuscon, and Daniel Robinson, PharmD, from the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, will debate whether residencies should be required before new pharmacists directly care for patients.

"It should be entertaining," said Dr Parker.

Another contentious topic anticipated to draw a crowd will be the cardiology session, Making Bloody Sense of Antithrombotic Therapy.

Clinical trial results released over the past 6 months are shifting prescribing patterns. "There is a good deal of controversy regarding the most appropriate antithrombotic therapy for people undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention," Dr Parker said.

Beers Criteria for Inappropriate Medication Use

For Dr Scott, a discussion of updated Beers Criteria for potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults stands out.

It is fascinating how the list "took on a life of its own" after Mark Beers, MD, from the University of California, Los Angeles, first published it in 1991, Dr Scott told Medscape Medical News. Many pharmacists will be eager to hear how the changes in the list might affect their practice, she said.

Keynote speaker Michael Barr, MD, from the Quality Measurement and Research Group of the National Committee for Quality Assurance, will hit on the healthcare quality theme in a speech entitled Measuring Quality in Patient-Centered Care — Challenges and Opportunities.

But attendees won't spend the whole time sitting in conference seats, said Dr Parker. The meeting will be set in the rich natural and cultural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area. Networking opportunities will abound with a reception Sunday night and practice and research network sessions organized around areas of interest, he said. "It's going to be a lot of fun."

Dr Parker, Dr Frazee, and Dr Scott report no relevant financial relationships.

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