ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings: Dispensing and administration—2017

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Abstract

Purpose.

The results of the 2017 ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings are described.

Methods.

Pharmacy directors at 4,828 general and children’s medical–surgical hospitals in the United States were surveyed using a mixed-mode method of contact by mail and e-mail. Survey completion was online, using Qualtrics (Qualtrics, Provo, UT). IMS Health supplied data on hospital characteristics; the survey sample was drawn from the IMS hospital database (IMS Health, Yardley, PA).

Results.

The response rate was 14.4%. Drug distribution systems have evolved from centralized unit dose programs to decentralized programs based on the use of automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs). These systems have been made safer by the use of lidded pockets, by the use of machine-readable coding during ADC stocking, and by linking access to medications to results of pharmacist order review. Health-system pharmacists continue to improve quality practices for compounding sterile preparations, including the use of safeguards in handling hazardous drugs. While some hospitals are prepared for more stringent standards, including United States Pharmacopeia chapter 800 requirements, much still needs to be done to meet these standards. Pharmacists are taking an active role in improving the responsible use of medications through antimicrobial stewardship and controlled-substance diversion prevention programs. The quality of the pharmacy workforce continues to be improved through the increased credentialing of both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Conclusion.

Health-system pharmacists continue to have a positive impact on improving healthcare through programs that improve efficiency, safety, and clinical outcomes of medication use in health systems.

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