ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings: Prescribing and transcribing—2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The results of the 2016 ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings are presented.

Methods

A stratified random sample of pharmacy directors at 1,315 general and children's medical–surgical hospitals in the United States were surveyed using a mixed-mode method offering a choice of completing a paper survey or an online survey. IMS Health supplied data on hospital characteristics; the survey sample was drawn from IMS's hospital database.

Results

The survey response rate was 29.8%. Drug policy development by pharmacy and therapeutics committees continues to be an important strategy for improving prescribing. Strict formulary systems are maintained in 63.0% of hospitals, and 89.7% of hospitals use clinical practice guidelines that include medications. Pharmacists have the authority to order laboratory tests in 89.9% of hospitals and order medications in 86.8% of hospitals. Therapeutic interchange policies are used in 89.2% of hospitals. Electronic health records (EHRs) have been implemented partially or completely in most hospitals (99.1%). Computerized prescriber-order-entry systems with clinical decision support are used in 95.6% of hospitals, and 92.6% of hospitals have barcode-assisted medication administration systems. Transitions-of-care programs are increasing in number, with 34.6% of hospitals now offering discharge prescription services. Pharmacists practice in 39.5% of hospital ambulatory or primary care clinics. The most common service offered by pharmacists to outpatients is anticoagulation management (26.0%). When pharmacists practice in ambulatory care clinics, 64.5% have prescribing authority through collaborative practice agreements.

Conclusion

Pharmacists continue to expand their role in improving the prescribing of medications in both hospital and outpatient settings. The adoption of EHRs and medication-use technologies has contributed to this growth.

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