ASHP’s Resources, Tools, and Information Support Pharmacy Profession’s Role in Safe Medication Use

Dear Colleagues,

Patient Safety Awareness Week, from March 13 to 19, is a time to spotlight efforts around healthcare safety and an opportunity for the pharmacy profession to showcase our specialized training and expertise in medication safety. As the most accessible healthcare providers, pharmacists in all practice settings help ensure that medication use is safe and effective for patients.

In recognition of Patient Safety Awareness Week, ASHP’s Section of Inpatient Care Practitioners’ Advisory Group on Medication Safety put together a list of ways to promote patient safety awareness. Ideas include downloading ASHP’s digital poster/screensaver to help pharmacy departments get involved in promoting medication use safety, sharing positive stories and recognizing individuals who have improved patient safety within organizations, creating posters that highlight the vital role pharmacy has in patient safety, and many other suggestions.

Resources to Promote Patient Safety
Although this particular week is dedicated to highlighting the importance of patient safety, providing optimal care to patients is a critical focus year-round for ASHP. We are pleased to offer a wealth of information included with ASHP membership that promotes a positive safety culture within the pharmacy profession.

I encourage you to visit ASHP’s Patient Safety Resource Center for content on medication safety alerts and warnings, education and training for medication officers, hospital accreditation, and more. ASHP’s ongoing medication safety podcast series showcases content matter experts that share best practices and discuss the principles of the medication use process. Please keep your eye out for a “special edition” medication safety podcast to be released on March 17 on the National Quality Forum’s Action Team on Person-Centered Medication Safety.

A vital resource for promoting patient safety education is, ASHP’s recently reimagined consumer-facing website. The content is written by pharmacists to help patients use medications effectively by providing information about vaccines, tips for taking or giving medications, and answers to common safety questions. More than 1,500 fact sheets contain essential details about safely using medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration. 

ASHP has also developed interactive tools to assist pharmacy professionals and health systems improve patient care through assessment and adherence to approved standards of care. The Pharmacy Advancement Initiative (PAI) 2030 provides pharmacy professionals with the tools and guidance they need to improve patient health and pharmacy practice. An important component is harnessing data to assess and mitigate risk in medication-use systems across all settings. ASHP’s latest offering, the PAI 2030 Self-Assessment Tool, helps pharmacists determine how their practice setting aligns with the PAI 2030 recommendations. The tool identifies areas where the PAI 2030 recommendations could significantly impact your practice setting. ASHP’s Standardize 4 Safety initiative provides standardized concentrations for intravenous and oral liquid medications to reduce errors, especially during transitions of care. A new checklist offers opportunities for health systems to determine how well their organization aligns with Standardize 4 Safety concentrations.

In addition, I represent ASHP on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) National Steering Committee for Patient Safety. Our focus is to achieve safer care and reduce harm across the care continuum. The IHI has numerous resources that promote a systems approach to patient safety. In recognition of Patient Safety Awareness Week, the IHI will hold a webinar on March 15 at 11 a.m. ET entitled “Sensemaking in Times of Uncertainty: Essential for Safety,” which will provide insights and perspective to foster sensemaking and action to reinforce patient and workforce safety in your organization.

ASHP Certificates
ASHP also offers valuable educational resources to support pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians in medication use safety efforts. The Medication Safety Certificate covers the principles of the medication use process and medication safety culture and provides strategies for identifying and implementing opportunities for medication safety improvements.

The Medication Reconciliation Certificate, geared toward pharmacy technicians, provides information about the essential and diverse skills required to take a patient’s medication history. Use the code “PatientSafety22” for a discount on this certificate during Patient Safety Awareness Week.

ASHP Summer Meetings
As we look ahead to our 2022 Summer Meetings & Exhibition in Phoenix, held June 11 to June 15, we will once again be offering one of our most popular education tracks—Medication Safety.

Aimed at front-line pharmacy staff and pharmacy technicians, the sessions will focus on innovative practices and solutions to improve patient care outcomes. Patient safety experts will lead engaging sessions on topics, including medication safety best practices, communication and resolution strategies among medication safety teams, removing healthcare disparity barriers to safe patient care, engaging the next generation of medication safety leaders, and more. With a theme of “Return, Refocus, Refresh,” I look forward to seeing you at this in-person learning and networking event. Registration for the 2022 Summer Meetings is now open.

Thank you for being a member of ASHP and for all you do for your patients and our profession.



Posted on March 10, 2022