Hospital pharmacy essential to patient safety and high-quality care in hospitals

Patient-centred quality care that ensures the safe and effective use of medicines should be the primary consideration in establishing and maintaining Australia’s hospital pharmacy departments, the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has affirmed today.

The reiteration of this core principle in the provision of clinical pharmacy services comes as discussions continue between ACT Health and hospital pharmacists in the ACT, represented by Professionals Australia, regarding pharmacist-to-patient ratios across the territory’s three hospitals.

Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says SHPA’s key Standard of Practice stipulates 30 as the maximum number of patients per hospital pharmacist.

‘Hospital pharmacists strive to uphold the National Medicines Policy through their daily work, of which the Quality Use of Medicines is a central objective.

‘To provide safe and quality care, inpatients require medication reconciliation on admission, daily medication chart review and medication counselling on discharge, however, these are unattainable in facilities where pharmacists are not adequately supported.

‘Hospital pharmacists are acutely aware they play an important role in enabling their facilities to meet the Medication Safety standard of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) and reducing hospital acquired complications, both key areas of concern for funding and accreditation.’

Ms Michaels says hospital pharmacists bring unique expertise to multidisciplinary medical teams across Australia.

‘On behalf of our members, who play a key role in patient safety and ensuring high quality care, we will continue to advocate for all health professionals in hospital pharmacy and the importance of fostering clinical environments that minimise any risk of clinical error or sub-optimal patient services.’

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