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Frequently Asked Questions

International Hospital Pharmacy Accreditation FAQs

Accreditation in healthcare has become very important, especially for pharmacy services. Accreditation is a process used by health care organizations worldwide to accurately assess their level of performance in relation to established standards and to implement ways to continuously improve.

Your hospital and health-system pharmacy has established policies and procedures for your medication handling and safety, clinical services and quality improvement. But accreditation specific to your pharmacy services can provide you the assurance that you meet high-level standards set by a recognized, external organization such as ASHP. It's like the difference between telling someone that you are smart, and showing them your pharmacy (training) credentials. It is the external stamp of approval on your pharmacy services, showing that you follow pharmacy standards and best practices.

And accreditation is much more than credibility. The process of accreditation leads to greater efficiency in your operations and improvements in your quality of patient care. The process of accreditation embodies continuous quality improvement and can result in elevation of the pharmacy and patient care services.

Ultimately, the goal of accreditation is to help you continually improve your pharmacy services.  By achieving accreditation, you receive formal recognition of the high quality of services and care provided by your hospital pharmacy.  Continued accreditation demonstrates your commitment to excellence and quality improvement and can enhance the credibility and value of your pharmacy's services within your organization and externally.

Hospital pharmacies achieving accreditation will receive a certificate(s) suitable for display, authorized use of the ASHP hospital pharmacy accreditation logo, recognition on the ASHP website, and a press release.  

  • Improved quality of care leading to improved patient outcomes
  • Formal recognition of accreditation with a certificate and on the ASHP website
  • Assurance policies and procedures are followed consistently throughout your organization
  • Decreased variation in your processes and improved efficiencies
  • Increased confidence in your pharmacy services internally
  • Improved risk management
  • External validation of your pharmacy services for your patients and community
  • A competitive advantage

The ASHP Accreditation Standard for International Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Services serves as the basis for evaluating your pharmacy for accreditation. Your pharmacy must demonstrate competency and compliance within each standard focus area including:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Quality
  • Medication Policy and Drug Information
  • Medication Safety
  • Information Management
  • Supply Chain
  • Medication Use Process
  • Clinical Pharmacy Services
  • Facilities
  • Education and Training

Evaluation of the practice is conducted through review of documents and an on-site survey.

To prepare for accreditation, you will need to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the pharmacy services processes, policies and procedures, and anything else related to accreditation standards. This is how you identify areas where there are gaps in compliance with the standards.

Achievement of accreditation provides evidence of the medication safety, effectiveness, and high quality of care delivered by the pharmacy.  In order to maintain accreditation, you will be required to submit yearly reports and reaccredit every three years.

Accreditation for a pharmacy practice residency program focuses on the delivery of the training program itself and includes a review of the pharmacy services. Hospital pharmacy services accreditation is an in-depth evaluation of each pharmacy service. The first step of the accreditation process is a review of all policies and procedures other supporting documentation for compliance with the standards. The second step is an on-site survey in which the survey team reviews and tours all pharmacy operations and patient care areas, patient records, patient care services being performed, and employee records (pharmacy staff and select other hospital staff). The survey focus is evaluation of pharmacy staff roles in the delivery of pharmacy services to patients and other health care professionals, and their adherence to policies and procedures.

A one-time application fee and an annual accreditation fee, based on size and scope of the pharmacy services, are assessed.

For more information about international accreditation of hospital and health systems pharmacy services and international pharmacy residency programs, contact [email protected].