Hospital pharmacy … where do we stand?
Alison Brincat, Kathlene Cassar, Mario Barbara & Ruth Borg Theuma
Hospital pharmacy is a specialised field of pharmacy within the healthcare service which entails the procurement, storage, compounding and dispensing of medications and medical devices. It also involves advising healthcare professionals and patients on their safe, effective and efficient use. In accordance to the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP), the mission of each hospital pharmacist is to enhance the safety and quality of all medicine-related processes affecting patients whilst ensuring that the seven “rights” are respected: right patient, right dose, right route, right time, right drug with the right information and right documentation. Being part of the medication management within a hospital, each hospital pharmacist must strive to optimise the use of medicines such as ensuring the correct dosage regimen and promote adherence to prescribed treatment by patients.
The Malta Association of Hospital Pharmacists was set up in 2013 with the prime aim to promote and aid in the professional development of hospital pharmacy in the Maltese archipelago. The local organisation has then joined EAHP. The latter incorporates over 19,000 pharmacists working in 35 European countries representing hospital pharmacists in European and international fora.
A consensus has been reached on the vision for hospital pharmacy services within EAHP with the collaboration of patients and healthcare professional groups. During the European Summit of Hospital Pharmacy in Brussels in May 2014, forty-four statements were agreed upon. These were divided into six overarching sections:
- Introductory statements and governance
- Selection, procurement and distribution
- Production and compounding
- Clinical pharmacy services
- Patient safety and quality assurance
- Education and research
Statement Implementation Ambassadors have been appointed for each country in a drive to implement the statements by acting as a link between EAHP, member associations and work conducted within the countries. The European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy are supported by various stakeholders including education providers, patients, pharmaceutical industry groups and even by other healthcare providers such as nurses organisations.
National strategies will be designed and discussed with the relevant stakeholders. The degree of implementation will be assessed by an online self-assessment tool and action plans will be developed accordingly. Due to the varied systems and necessities of the different countries, EAHP will liaise with the national associations and ambassadors to comprehend the needs and priorities of the local scenario and compile specific national strategies accordingly.
Further information regarding the European Statements and the project of implementation may be obtained from http://statements.eahp.eu/statements/european-statements-hospital-pharmacy. If a healthcare association would like to endorse these statements, the EAHP implementation team may be contacted through http://statements.eahp.eu/about/support-us.
Embrey, M. Managing access to medicines and health technology. USA: Management Sciences for Health Inc.; 2012
European Association of Hospital Pharmacists. Statement Implementation Newsletter. [Internet] EAHP; 2017 [updated 2017; cited 2017 Nov 9]. Available from: http://statements.eahp.eu/news/statement-implementation-newsletter
European association of hospital pharmacy and Implementation of the European statements of hospital pharmacy. European Statements of Hospital Pharmacists. [Internet] EAHP; 2017 [updated 2017; cited 2017 Nov 9]. Available from: http://statements.eahp.eu/
Malta Association of Hospital Pharmacists. [Internet] MAHP; 2015 [updated 2015; cited 2017 Nov 9]. Available from: http://www.mahp.org.mt/