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How Pharmacists Are Continually Improving Patient Care

August 01, 2019

The results of the 2018 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) were recently published online in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. According to the findings, pharmacists continue to improve drug therapy monitoring in hospitals as well as respond to public health issues regarding medication use.  

To find out more about pharmacy practice in hospital settings, pharmacy directors at 4897 general and children’s medical-surgical hospitals received a survey via mail and email. To complete the survey, respondents used Qualtrics online. Further, IMS Health supplied data on hospital characteristics. The survey response rate was 16.6%.  

Based on the responses, the results of the survey showed:

  • an increase in the number of hospitals that routinely have pharmacists assigned to provide drug therapy management;
  • an increase in transitions-of-care processes over the last 6 years;
  • a wider variety of clinic types and clinical practice areas among hospitals with pharmacists over the last 2 years;
  • an increase of opioid stewardship programs in US hospitals with pharmacists participating or taking the lead in program implementation; and,
  • outsourcing is commonly used for compounded sterile product preparation.

“The proportion of hospitals not using any technology when compounding sterile preparations has declined,” the authors noted.  

Finally, according to the survey, many pharmacy departments often track and monitor trends for administrative, operational, quality, and outcome metrics.  

“Pharmacists continue to improve drug therapy monitoring for patients in U.S. hospitals. They are also responding to public health issues related to medication use,” the authors concluded. “These advancements include taking an active role in opioid stewardship programs, safe compounding of sterile medications for patients, and reducing the need for hospital-based care.” 

—Julie Gould


Pedersen CA, Schneider PJ, Ganio MC, Scheckelhoff DJ. ASHP National survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings: Monitoring and patients education-2018 [published online July 2, 019]. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019 Jul 2;76(14):1038-1058. doi: 10.1093/ajhp/zxz099

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