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CPD in Taiwan

Here we explore how CPD (Continuing Professional Development) in Taiwan has progressed through the years and look at some of the key current policies and challenges.
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Following section we will share the Taiwanese experience
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in the continuing professional development And the first one is that we want to share with you the national professional continuing education requirement In 1995 the national health insurance was launched and in their requirement for pharmacists It says that institutional pharmacists were required by Bureau of NHI to fulfill 48 hours of continuing education every two years for reimbursement of pharmacy service reimbursement of pharmacy service so this is the first time that pharmacists working in Taiwan are required to fulfill a continuous education At that time that only require those pharmacies or pharmacies that dealing with the prescriptions that reimbursed by national health insurance So, it’s not a nation-wide comprehensive requirement for the pharmacy a continuous education requirement so only those pharmacists that are going to deal with the prescription that reimbursed by NHI required to fulfill this requirement.
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In 2009 Department of Health announced the CE requirement of 150 credit hours in six years for all healthcare professionals So, in 2009 this require is a comprehensive and nationwide requirement for all the healthcare professionals including pharmacists In 2015 the Ministry of welfare and health, which is a new version of Department of Health they change the continuing education requirement for all the health care professional to 120 credit hours in six years So, current requirement for all the healthcare professional in Taiwan is 120 points in six years Superficially looks like the requirement decrease from 2009 to 2015 but actually there is additional requires special topic in the continued education point So, these are required for every healthcare professionals need to complete, including infectious control at least one section gender issues at least one section And quality assurance or ethics or law and regulation should be included And three over both should achieve around 12 to 24 points in the six years period And last one is the pharmacy practice include 96 to 108 points So, the first three and the last one will finally achieved at 120 points in six years.
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And there are three authorized Association for accrediting as a provider for the continuing education program They are Taiwan Society of health system pharmacist The pharmaceutical Society of Taiwan and Taiwan Pharmacists Association The first one mainly focus on hospital pharmacist The pharmaceutical Society of Taiwan their membership is mainly focus on the faculty members from the schools, pharmacy schools
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The Taiwan Pharmacists Association is a joint society from all the different local Pharmacists Association in Taiwan. So, it mainly focused on the community pharmacy practice The CE credits obtain could be from lectures and the lecture could be virtual or real And also, it could be from a journal publication and reading. It also could be from conference poster And also the pharmacist could submit a self-directed study plan then they could fulfill the CE credits The CE credits could be collected centrally and is online credit demonstration system, developed and maintained by a Ministry of Health and Welfare Certainly, we are facing the problems and difficulties.
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Number one, fulfilling CE requirement does not mean that the pharmacist does learn what the program expects Also, the CE program are mainly didactic you never know whether the attendees could act in their daily life And also a person could fulfill the total CE credit in a very short time period There are several programs they could provide you a day eight credit hours and you obtain a lot of credit hours in a very short time. In this way we doubt that the pharmacist attend this kind of program could digest the material smoothly and completely.
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So, the problems and difficulty probably occurs in every country in the world And, the Taiwanese Pharmacists Association should consider the problem and try to resolve it in the near future The second experience we want to share is the postgraduate two-year training program. This program is to provide the new graduate that entering the pharmacy practice field with a intensive training program. The purpose of the postgraduate two-year training program is to provide a structured training program for a new graduate entering into hospital pharmacies.
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So, this program was started in 2008 and is then from the name post graduate two-year training program you should not mix up with the American post graduate two-year residency training program This training program in Taiwan is not for a resident It’s only for a four-year graduate from the school of pharmacy And, because the four-year education focus on product oriented education, so, a new graduate entering into the hospital pharmacy required the basic in structured clinical training The initiator is the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the funding source is national health insurance.
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The funding from national health insurance on the new graduate training has been a long-term program from 2008 The Minister of Health and Welfare really focus on the new graduate training and also they go to each hospital onsite exam in accredited the program one by one How they do it?
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The Ministry of Health and Welfare provide program structure and each hospital design its own training program according to the program structure by Ministry of Health and Welfare And annually the ministry will send experts to visit the hospital in person to see how the program operates in that specific hospital Currently the program facing a severe problem is that hospital invest lots of resource to train the new graduates but these new graduates left the hospital at the end of the two years of training. So, the training program didn’t benefit the hospital themselves. So, hospital try to consider withdrawal some of the resource to these new graduates.
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From 2008 to now government provide 5000 points per month which equal to 5000 New Taiwan dollars for each pharmacist under this training program And, the qualified pharmacists are those that graduate within four years And, they could have two years of this support within the four years of graduation Due to this program. Each hospital developed highly sophisticated system. Even some of the hospital, they have electronic platform to collect all the data from the new graduates learning and to prepare for the survey visit. This support is soon coming to an end in two years the hospital pharmacies should keep their training by themselves because NHI Fund is running out

Here we explore how CPD (Continuing Professional Development) in Taiwan has progressed through the years and look at some of the key current policies and challenges.

History of CPD in Taiwan:

The national health insurance was launched in Taiwan in 1995. The Bureau of NHI required institutional pharmacists to fulfil 48 hours of CE every two years for reimbursement of pharmacy service.

In 2009, Department of Health increased the CE requirement to 150 credit hours in six years for all healthcare professionals.

In 2015 the Ministry of welfare and health changed it to 120 credit hours in six years. On the surface this seems like a reduction, but there were also additional requirements regarding education about infectious control, gender issues, and quality assurance or ethics or law and regulation. Lastly there it is also required to have 96 to 108 credit hours in pharmacy practice.

There are three associations authorized to accredit a provider for the Continuing Professional Development in Taiwan:

 

  • Taiwan Society of health system pharmacist
  • The pharmaceutical Society of Taiwan
  • Taiwan Pharmacists Association

CE credits can be achieved by taking part in different forms of CE, including:

 

  • Lectures (virtual or in-person)
  • Journal publication and reading
  • Conference poster
  • Self-directed study plans

The Ministry of Health and Welfare collate CE credits using a central online system. However, some challenges remain unresolved:

 

  • Fulfilling CE requirement does not equate to pharmacist learning what the program expects.
  • CE programs are mainly didactic.
  • An individual can fulfil the total CE credit in a very short time period, with limited absorption of the material.

There is also a postgraduate two-year training program which aims to provide new pharmacy graduates with an intensive training program. The participant may not be a resident at the hospital where the program take place. The Ministry of Health and Welfare provide a basic program structure and each hospital designs its own training program. The Ministry of Health and Welfare will send experts to review the program annually.

However, there are some issues with this system. The participants may not end up working at the hospital so there is little incentive for the hospital themselves to support the training. Funding is also going to be pulled soon due to stress on the NHI Funds.

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