Deparment of Health Services managers in Los Angeles County issued a memo saying that the 2015 pharmacist competence assessment has been temporarily suspended while DHS works to improve the process for next year. This is great news, and a fitting reward for all the work pharmacists have done over the last year and a half!
When talking to UAPD, Los Angeles County Pharmacists were clear that their number one problem was the competence assessment exam. They told UAPD that the test was poorly designed and did not fairly measure pharmacy skills. Yet managers were in a position to discipline and fire people based on the results. The County did not give pharmacists sufficient time for study, nor did they properly compensate them for time spent preparing. Pharmacists said the Guild never truly conveyed your level of dissatisfaction with the test to management.
UAPD heard that message loud and clear. For months UAPD staff and pharmacist leaders met with Los Angeles County management and elected leaders conveying exactly that message. Those managers now agree that there are better methods for ensuring that pharmacists are competent and that patients receive high quality pharmaceutical care. The County will stop the test for now and continue working with UAPD pharmacists to develop alternative forms of assessment for the future. UAPD staff and pharmacy leaders will continue to communicate with members about the form that the new assessment process should take.