Elevating pharmacists' scope of practice through a health-system clinical privileging process

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The privileging of pharmacists for clinical activities and the impact that privileging has on enhancing the scope of pharmacy practice in health systems are reviewed.


Health-system pharmacists or pharmacy leaders must gain a thorough understanding of the credentialing and privileging process as they broaden their scope of practice. Clinical privileging affords an expanded scope of practice that is recognized at the institutional level and formally elevates the pharmacist to that of a nonphysician provider. The installation of privileging processes is expected to take many months to complete for individual institutions and should begin now in anticipation of provider status. Model institutions, including Truman Medical Centers, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, are highlighted in this article and provide their individual approach to clinical privileging that can be applied to other institutions. The development and evaluation of these programs have given valuable insight into how this individual approach translates to health systems across the country and how the pharmacy profession can continue to unite to convey the value of pharmacists in improving patient care.


In preparation for the potential approval of pharmacist provider status across the United States, it is essential that pharmacists are privileged by the medical staff at their respective institution. Clinical privileges must be strategically developed with a focus on cost and quality aims and meeting the needs of patients. Implementation and maintenance of high-performing pharmacy privileging programs require both successful leadership and management skills and an understanding of the interprofessional nature of healthcare.

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