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12/7/2000

ASHP Applauds Leapfrog Group for Patient Safety Initiative

Kate Traynor

The following letter was sent by ASHP Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Henri R. Manasse, Jr., to the editor of the Wall Street Journal. An edited version was published Nov. 29.

November 21, 2000

Letters to the Editor
The Wall Street Journal
200 Liberty Street
New York, New York 10281-1003

Dear Editor:

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) applauds the Leapfrog Group in its efforts to encourage hospitals to use computer order-entry systems for prescription medications ("Business Consortium to Launch Effort Seeking Higher Standards at Hospitals," November 15).

Safety will only be enhanced fully through the coordinated efforts of the entire health care team, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, hospital administrators, and others. It’s important to remember that technology per se will not solve all the problems; moreover, it can introduce new sources of error into the system.

Patients should know that pharmacists who work in hospitals and health systems are a key resource in overseeing the efficacy and safety of prescription drug therapies. As medication experts, pharmacists throughout the nation are working closely with physicians and other prescribers to develop, test, and advocate for sound principles in the safe use of prescriber order-entry medication systems. ASHP looks forward to working closely with the Leapfrog Group and other organizations to improve patient safety now and into the future.

Sincerely,

Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D.
Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists