Hospital pharmacies nationwide are moving toward ASHP's 2015 initiative's goals

Some improvements are going faster

Hospital pharmacies nationwide have five years remaining to collectively meet the 2015 initiative goals of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) of Bethesda, MD, and so far there are mixed results.

With some of the initiative's goals there is steady and encouraging progress; with others the goal seems remote, according to results of the 2009 ASHP National Survey.1

U.S. hospitals have made significant improvements on the objectives involving implementation of technology and those that overlap with Joint Commission standards, but have some ways to go on objectives focusing on evidence-based medication use, disease-specific quality indicators, and public health, the survey found.1

"The 2015 agenda of ASHP has six goals and 3-5 objectives in each goal, and they reflect questions historically asked in the national survey," says Philip Schneider, MS, FASHP, an associate dean for academic and professional affairs in the College of Pharmacy at Phoenix Biomedical Campus in Phoenix, AZ.

The survey's results show how much progress the nation's hospitals have made toward these goals since they were launched in 2003.

Here are some examples of the ASHP 2015 initiative goals and any progress noted in the national survey toward reaching these goals:

Goal 1: Increase the extent to which pharmacists help individual hospital inpatients achieve the best use of medications.1

Among ASHP's objectives are these: having 100% of hospitals with pharmacists who monitor inpatients with complex and high-risk medication regimens, and that 75% of hospitals have inpatients who are discharged with complex and high-risk medication regimens receive discharge medication counseling managed by a pharmacist.1

The 2009 survey found that 56.1% of hospitals have pharmacists monitoring inpatients with complex and high-risk medication regimens, and 17.4% of hospitals have a pharmacist managing discharge medication counseling.1

Goal 2: Increase the extent to which health system pharmacists help individual non-hospitalized patients achieve the best use of medications.1

Goal 3: Increase the extent to which health system pharmacists actively apply evidence-based methods to the improvement of medication therapy.1

Goal 4: Increase the extent to which pharmacy departments in health systems have a significant role in improving the safety of medication use.1

One objective is for 90% of health systems to establish an organizational program that has pharmacy involvement, with the goal of achieving significant annual, documented improvement in medication use safety. The 2009 survey shows that 64.2% of all hospitals have achieved this objective.1

Goal 5: Increase the extent to which health systems apply technology effectively to improve the safety of medication.1

One of these objectives involves the adoption of barcoded medication administration, which has steadily climbed in the past decade, reaching 27.9% of hospitals having implemented the system.1

A second objective is that to have pharmacists use medication-relevant portions of patients' electronic medical records for managing patients' medication therapy in 65% of health systems. The 2009 survey shows that 49.9% of hospitals have achieved this objective, nearly double the number that had reached this goal in 2003.1

U.S. hospitals have met and exceeded the third objective, which is that in 70% of health systems pharmacists will access pertinent patient information and communicate across settings of care to ensure continuity of pharmaceutical care for patients with complex and high risk medication regimens. The 2009 survey found that 72.3% of hospitals had achieved this objective.1

Goal 6: Increase the extent to which pharmacy departments in health systems engage in public health initiatives on behalf of their communities.1

Reference

  1. Scheckelhoff DJ, Schneider PJ, Pedersen CA. 2009 ASHP National Survey Results: Implications and Trends for Today's Practice. Presentation at the 44th ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition in Las Vegas, NV; Dec. 9, 2009.