Pharmacist privileging in a health system: Report of the Qualified Provider Model Ad Hoc Committee

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PurposeThe rationale for and steps of pharmacist credentialing and privileging are described.SummaryAs pharmacy evolves to include direct patient care, health care organizations are under increasing scrutiny to verify that their pharmacists are not only licensed to practice but are capable providers of direct patient care. Credentialing is a process conducted by a health care organization to review and verify a pharmacist's credentials. Privileging authorizes a pharmacist to perform within a specified scope of practice. The steps in developing a process for pharmacist privileging consist of gathering background information from national, state, and local sources; defining the services a privileged pharmacist may provide; developing policies and procedures; and obtaining approval from the appropriate institutional bodies. An ad hoc committee convened by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists in 2003 produced two documents, an application for privileging and a general privileging form, that may be used as templates by institutions or individuals developing a pharmacist-privileging process. Barriers to pharmacist privileging may be personal, institutional, and regulatory.ConclusionAs pharmacist roles continue to expand, there is increasing need to verify pharmacists' ability to provide direct patient care services. One way to achieve this is for institutions to develop a pharmacist-privileging process that better aligns pharmacists with the methods used to authorize scopes of practice of other types of practitioners.

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