Developing an AI Road Map for Pharmacy

Dear Colleagues,

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more prevalent in healthcare, it is crucial for pharmacy professionals to be engaged in its application and lead its safe and optimal use.

Recently, we hosted our first-ever AI summit at ASHP Pharmacy Futures 2024 in Portland, Oregon, as we advance the expertise of pharmacy practitioners in the evolving digital landscape. The two-day summit featured high-profile speakers and immersive programming, along with active engagement of participants who had the opportunity to contribute to developing a road map to guide ASHP’s efforts around the use of AI in pharmacy practice.

The event enabled pharmacy practitioners, leaders, and innovators to collaborate and shape the ongoing integration of AI in pharmacy and to explore why AI matters, what it means for pharmacy practice, and how to responsibly and ethically use the technology.

Futurist Mike Walsh, our keynote speaker, sat down with AJHP Editor in Chief Daniel J. Cobaugh for an illuminating conversation about how AI will shape healthcare organizations. Visit the ASHP News Center to watch this part of the keynote session.

Emergency physician and healthcare AI strategist Harvey Castro discussed the vast benefits of AI technology, its current and potential uses in healthcare, and what lies ahead.

Other immersive sessions explored the design of successful pharmacy data teams, applications of AI to clinical pharmacy, ethical concerns with AI, AI and clinical trials, AI’s role in pharmacy leadership, and use-case scenarios at the patient bedside.

Summit participants from diverse practice settings also participated in the lively town hall session, where they helped build the road map for safely incorporating AI into the medication-use process.

We plan to publish the summit proceedings and road map in AJHP later this year.

The ASHP House of Delegates met during Pharmacy Futures and approved a new AI policy. The Role of AI in Pharmacy Practice (2413) embraces AI as a tool with “tremendous potential to improve patient care and the medication-use process.” The policy advocates for organizations to develop standards, policies, and procedures that ensure safeguards and appropriate use of AI in pharmacy practice. The policy also advocates for active engagement of the pharmacy workforce in decision-making, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of AI-related applications and technologies in pharmacy practice.

ASHP first published our statement on the use of AI in pharmacy in 2020. We are updating it as we advance the latest use and role of AI. Look out for more details on those revisions in the months ahead.

For over 80 years, ASHP has led the development of standards and resources that enhance medication safety, optimize patient outcomes, and position hospital and health-system pharmacists as medication specialists on interprofessional care teams. ASHP is pleased to continue to advance critical standards and resources with AI’s growing use in healthcare and the medication-use process.

We encourage you to visit our Digital Health and AI Resource Center regularly to stay informed and access the latest AI tools, research, and news to support pharmacy practitioners in this exciting AI journey ahead.

It is essential for pharmacy professionals to lead the implementation and application of AI as we work to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care in our country. ASHP is here to support you, and together, we will continue to create the future of pharmacy practice.

Thank you for all you do for your patients and our profession.



Posted on July 2, 2024