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Press Release

ASHP Launches New Center on Patient Safety

In a groundbreaking initiative to protect patients in hospitals and other components of health systems, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has announced the founding of a new Center on Patient Safety.

Set to launch July 1, 2000, the ASHP Center on Patient Safety will help pharmacists lead the implementation of medication-use safety standards and practices in hospitals and other components of health systems. The Center’s development is perfectly aligned with the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that professional associations establish a permanent focus on safety improvements (To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System).

The Center will:

    • Train pharmacists and other health care professionals to recognize the causes of medication errors and offer proven strategies for error prevention, 
    • Educate legislators, regulatory agencies, and health-system decision-makers about the important safety role that pharmacists can fulfill if appropriately deployed, 
    • Build alliances with other organizations and professional disciplines committed to improving the quality and safety of medication use, 
    • Foster the implementation of best practices in health systems, and 
    • Work closely with the ASHP Research and Education Foundation to explore opportunities to study the complex problem of medication-use safety in health systems.

"With the current public outcry for improved safety in hospitals and health systems, we felt compelled to expand and accelerate our longstanding efforts to help pharmacists improve medication-use safety within their institutions," said ASHP Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D. "The creation of the ASHP Center on Patient Safety reflects ASHP’s continuing dedication to achieving fail-safe medication use in America’s health systems."

Kasey K. Thompson, Pharm.D, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy and ASHP’s most-recent executive resident, will lead the Center’s activities. Laura N. Blum, M.A., will serve as the Center associate.

"ASHP’s leadership fostering safe medication use dates back to the early 1960s when we championed unit dose distribution systems in hospitals," said Thompson. "I am proud to be a part of that legacy of achievement and believe that the Center will provide pharmacists in health systems with an excellent vehicle for further successes."

ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term-care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. The Society, which has a long history of medication-error prevention efforts, has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their delivery of pharmaceutical care and is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.