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VA Heartland Network - VISN 15


Pharmacy Residency PGY2 Experience

The residents are scheduled for experiences throughout the year in order to allow for learning in various areas. Most of the learning experiences during this PGY-2 residency are longitudinal in structure. To successfully complete the program, the resident will be expected to achieve proficiency in the 21 required critical objectives and ‘Satisfactory Progress’ rating on the remaining 42 non-critical required objectives.


¨ Data Management and Analytics

The resident will learn and apply a variety of data skills from Excel analytics, database extraction, and on final product development such as creation and maintenance of electronic dashboards and reports. Knowledge and applied use of query languages will be taught and developed for interacting with relational databases. The resident will become proficient in advanced Excel functions, including, but not limited to writing functions with various commands and creating pivot tables to analyze data. The resident will also learn to work proficiently in business intelligence (BI) platforms (PowerBI, Pyramid Analytics). Upon graduation from the program, the resident will have an overall understanding of the VA health data repository enterprise architecture data warehouse structure applied to VISN 15. This will include specialized knowledge of use of BI platforms, collaborative development environments, digital report development and maintenance, and formulating, executing, and revising plans and coding procedures for database searches using SQL.

¨ Pharmacy Benefits Design and Formulary Management

The resident will gain experience in integrated health systems formulary management through involvement in all levels of VHA Formulary decision making. Through various activities, the resident will understand the complete cycle of pharmaceutical contract negotiation, drug ordering and procurement, and monitoring contract compliance. The resident participates in VISN 15 Formulary Management Workgroup and VISN Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee, and collaborates with operational and clinical pharmacy staff throughout VISN 15 to implement VHA Formulary decisions and cost saving strategies.  The resident will develop skills in practical application of pharmacoeconomic principles, outline and implement methodologies to assess pharmaceutical-related economic and clinical health outcomes,  improve contract compliance to achieve maximum savings, render prior authorization decisions, and implement national formulary and utilization management decisions at VISN and facility levels.  The resident will focus on developing initiatives that involve operational and clinical pharmacy staff to engage in cost savings initiatives. The resident will also apply knowledge of the VHA drug benefit and market trends to design drug utilization analyses, track cost savings/cost avoidance, and to forecast yearly pharmacy budgets. 

¨ Population Health Management

During this longitudinal learning experience, the resident will gain foundational population health management knowledge, with an emphasis on utilizing clinical pharmacy services to address important gaps in care that exist in cohorts of a health system’s patient population.

The resident will participate in the life-cycle of a population health initiative by identifying a gap in care within the patient population served by VISN 15 enrollees through both evidence based literature evaluation and detailed  analytics, apply literature research and evaluation to identify best treatment approaches to patients with the identified gap(s), develop a population management tool to assist clinical personnel to identify and prioritize filling those gaps, and work with all stakeholders to implement the tool.

Intrinsic to the process, the resident will also define Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based (SMART) goals for a major longitudinal project by which milestones can be set and evaluated for success and continuous quality improvement. The resident will engage clinical staff to adjust approaches based on SMART goals performance results.

 ¨ Pharmacy Practice Leadership and Policy 

The resident is fully integrated into the VISN 15 PBM work unit, contributes to the development and achievement of pharmacy goals at the local, VISN, and National levels, and applies key principles of leadership to improve practice within the health system.

This experience is designed to expose the resident to leadership nomenclature, key principles, tools, and available resources that will assist them in growing as clinicians, practitioners, and leaders.  Emphasis will be placed on creating strategic plans, effective communication, networking, mentoring, clinical and operational service leadership, managing available resources/opportunities, oversight and preparation for regulatory compliance, managing finances, medication safety and various programs/activities designed to develop the resident’s pharmacy practice/leadership foundation. 

The overarching goal of this longitudinal experience is to enable the resident to apply the knowledge gained to any pharmacy practice setting to improve their individual practice and confidently utilize leadership skills.

¨ Quality Improvement/Clinical Research Project

This learning experience is designed to develop, execute, and report results of investigations of pharmacy practice-related issues.  The resident will be responsible for obtaining experience in all areas of a research or quality improvement project including development of a hypothesis, submission of a This learning experience is designed to develop, execute, and report results of investigations of pharmacy practice-related issues.  The resident will be responsible for obtaining experience in all areas of a research or quality improvement project including development of a hypothesis, submission of a deadlines and IRB approval.  Residents will be encouraged to conduct outcomes-based research or quality improvement projects, preferably incorporating the skills learned from other rotations and building a new analysis tool that will assist in the data mining component of the project.  In addition to the manuscript, residents are required to present a project poster at the annual Midwest Pharmacy Residents Conference or other conference approved by preceptors.

 Additional Skills Development

¨ Pharmacy Teaching Certificate through the University of Missouri—Kansas City

¨ Didactic Teaching and Student Preceptorship

¨ Lean Yellow Belt Certification

¨ Board Certification Review Sessions and Study Groups