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Open Letter to New CEO of ASHP

Here are some observations of the past and what we might need for the future. This post was banned from the ASHP site.  My take is that they do not want to be challenged nor financial information and mis management of the organization to be even whispered. Just my 2 cents, challenge me!

The informatics issue here is that ASHP is for the most part a paper based organization, with no informatics DNA.  The next person has got to turn that around if the organization is to survive and serve its members.

And now, hold on to your seats to hear…
This is what I hope to hear every time you speak. You need to knock them over and impress audiences every time you deliver.  Every time I heard the previous CEO speak he read directly from a prepared document.  Frankly, this was insulting and took away from the content.  It is not always what you say, but how you say it.   At close to a million dollars a year, you would think that he might have considered a public speaking seminar to communicate more effectively.  The job requirement is very clear, you are the voice of health system pharmacy.  Knock them out when you get up and speak.  It is essential for you to be a dynamic orator of the highest caliber. I want chills down my spine every time you get up and talk.  Someone we are all proud and excited to hear each time you get up to speak.  That would be exciting for the membership and elevate us all to new heights.

Put real pharmacists first and keep TV pharmacists off the list.
Please do not comment on trivial matters, such as TV shows, as was done in the past. <link>   All this does is attract attention to the issue and shows the insecurity of the organization.  Speak out loudly and forcefully on issues that violate core beliefs and policies of the organization, but leave fiction alone.  Where injustices occur and ignorance reigns, get out and fight.  Silence on the greatest injustice in hospital pharmacy history <link> continues to be reprehensible.  Silence re-enforces the meek nature of pharmacists and damages us all.   When injustices happen or where pharmacists go the extra mile, the CEO needs to be in front of a TV Camera, webcast, Youtube video, podcast and blog extolling the principles that make this profession great.

Please consider a more transparent organization.  The annual reports tend to be watered down with little substance.  Without transparency notions of corruption and mismanagement can surface.  Sending out board of director minutes a year after a meeting, that was recently done, feels like leadership wants to hide something.  In another example, it might look like there was blatant nepotism with Bill Zellmer making $366,634 while a “Writer-in-residence”. What is that?  He had 5 decent editorials in AJHP during that time.  He wrote no blog or electronic communication at all.  Pretty good wages for 5 editorials. Weather this perception is correct or not, secrecy and lack of transparency will bread this type of view.  Please be more transparent in the running of the organization, so potentially misplaced notions do not fester.

Vision Thing
In a great closing at the Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI) the previous CEO read  a quote from Einstein "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."  Let’s heed this view and think and dream big.  The PPMI has potential but, at least for me, there is still not enough bold and innovative ideas.   I am not alone in this thinking.  A Chief Pharmacy Officer of a large hospital chain has indicted this initiative will even set the profession back.  Lots of old wine in new bottles.  It is time to distill some new wine.  In a session during the PPMI meeting where there was some really out of the box thinking going on, the former CEO firmly (and from my perspective, sadly) shut it down as being “impossible”.  Please, do not let this happen to you.  Nothing is impossible in this new era of health care.

Remove dead trees from your business plan
The future is not in printing information on paper.  Multimedia, gaming, social networking, clinical algorithms, predictive modeling is the future, not paper journals.  Please shift your focus away from dead trees in your communication and business planning.   My favorite was getting an email from the CEO with an attached PDF in 1960 memo format.  Huh?  Ok, this might not be a big deal.  It is however an illustration of not understanding of how business and electronic communication is conducted in 2011.  

Paper Journal or mechanism for knowledge extension
Perhaps you have noticed that paper journalism is crumbling.  Newspapers are going out of business at an alarming rate.  Scientific journals are evolving rapidly.  The paper AJHP is a relic of a time gone by and has not kept up with electronic publishing by working to be a knowledge extension for members.  Oh, it is available on the Kindle.  That is not what I am talking about.  The old regime have done very little to expand this paper relic to a true multi-media, knowledge delivery system for the membership.  It seems that it is just not in the DNA of current leadership.  Please consider changing this.  Please transform AJHP from a paper journal that publishes information to a smart multimedia knowledge delivery system.

Over the last decade or more I have had to throw away a large paper and plastic journal every two weeks, even though I read it religiously (online).  Why?  Because according to the editor, ASHP wants to dupe advertisers into thinking they are getting more than they really are, by mailing paper to people who do not read it.  <link>  Advertisers are not stupid and this ridiculous charade will kill the journal sooner or later.  Someone with a clue of current multimedia culture, eduction, practices and knowledge transfer has to step in and save the Journal and the organization; I am confident and hopeful that is you.  All the best.

And the tweet of the summer meeting so far:

claireeschum Claire Schum

"Without challenge there is no change." Learned so much from Dr. Jay Kaplan! #ashpsm

Looks like there will be little change……

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