About ASHP Statements and Guidelines
The need for authoritative guidance in pharmacy practice has grown with changes in health care and with shifting influences from regulatory, accrediting, risk-management, financing, and other bodies. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) develops official professional policies, in the form of policy positions and guidance documents (statements and guidelines), for the continuum of pharmacy practice settings in integrated health systems.
ASHP’s professional policies contain varying levels of detail. Policy positions are short pronouncements on one aspect of practice. Statements express basic philosophy, and guidelines (including what were formerly called “technical assistance bulletins”) offer programmatic advice. Therapeutic position statements are concise responses to specific therapeutic issues, and therapeutic guidelines are thorough, evidence-based recommendations on drug use.
The professional policies of ASHP represent a consensus of professional judgment, expert opinion, and documented evidence. They provide guidance and direction to ASHP members, pharmacy practitioners, and other audiences who affect pharmacy practice. Their use by members and other practitioners is strictly voluntary, and their content should be assessed and adapted to meet the needs of specific health-system settings.
Guidance documents, in particular, evolve because of advances in technology, new knowledge from research, and lessons from experience. In addition, medication information is constantly evolving because of ongoing research and clinical experience, and it is often subject to interpretation and unique clinical situations. ASHP endeavors to ensure the completeness and timeliness of the information presented in its statements and guidelines. However, the reader is advised that the publisher, contributors, editors, and reviewers make no representations concerning the suitability of the information for any purpose, and are not responsible for the immediate currency of the information, for any errors or omissions, or for any consequences arising from the use of these materials. All decisions made within the context of pharmacy practice should be based on the independent judgment of the practitioner.