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Hospital CEOs Warned on Dangers of Understaffing Pharmacies

ASHP recently sent a strongly worded memorandum to hospital and health-system administrators across the United States, urging them to look closely at pharmacist shortages.

In the memo, ASHP highlighted the relationship between staffing levels and medication errors and warned that unless administrators start to seriously investigate staffing shortages in pharmacies, patients will encounter more adverse drug events. 

The memo also provided a variety of recommendations for administrators to consider as they reassess safeguards within their own health systems, including that they: 

  • Use nationally certified pharmacy technicians to help dispense medications so that pharmacists can take on direct patient care roles,   
  • Ensure that authoritative, up-to-date drug information is available in all patient care areas,   
  • Eliminate handwritten medication orders and transcriptions, and   
  • Establish an interdisciplinary team of staff members, including pharmacists, to lead medication-safety initiatives.