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Press Release

ASHP Honored with Prestigious Award for Medication Safety Efforts

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has been selected as a recipient of a 2003 Cheers Award for its outstanding contributions to improving patient safety. The unique annual awards, which are conferred by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), recognize individuals, organizations, and companies that have set a standard of excellence in the prevention of medication errors and other adverse events.

Promoting fail-safe medication use in health systems is one of five “planks” in ASHP’s Leadership Agenda, which expresses top priorities for health-system pharmacy practice. ASHP has published landmark practice standards used by prominent organizations, hospitals, and health systems around the world to improve the safety and quality of the medication-use process.

The Society's Executive Vice President Henri R. Manasse, Ph.D, Sc.D., is a globally recognized leader in patient safety and medication error prevention; he has chaired the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Directors and is currently serving as chair of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ (JCAHO’s) Sentinel Events Committee.

Recent ASHP accomplishments in the interest of patient safety include:

  • Directly influenced federal bar-coding regulations and Congressional legislation on medication-use safety.
  • Persuaded the National Quality Forum to recognize pharmacists as necessary members of the patient care team, thereby fostering pharmacist involvement in all steps of the medication-use process.
  •  Successfully advocated for necessary changes to the JCAHO National Patient Safety Goals and Medication Management Standards. 
  • Established a drug shortages resource center to provide information and advice to health care professionals on ways to minimize the possible negative impact of shortages on patient safety.
  • Developed an online self-assessment tool for pharmacists to identify practice gaps in the areas of safety and quality in their workplaces. 
  • Conducted national surveys to gauge hospitals and health systems’ progress in closing those practice gaps. 
  • Created the ASHP Health-System Pharmacy 2015 Initiative, a set of goals and objectives for long-term practice improvement and evaluation of progress on a national scale. 
  • Held a series of educational programs at ASHP meetings that focused on practical, implementable approaches to improving medication use.

The 6th Annual ISMP Cheers Awards ceremony, honoring ASHP and twelve other leaders in the field of patient safety, will be held on December 9, 2003, at the Sheraton New Orleans during the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. 

ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, ambulatory care clinics, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medicines.  Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective.  The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their professional practice, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.  For more information, visit ASHP’s Web site, or