NQF urges greater leadership from hospital pharmacist

This year, when the National Quality Forum updated its manual on safe practices, it made an important change to its medication management chapter. The group is now urging that hospital pharmacists show increased leadership--and face greater accountability.

The NQF argues that pharmacists should have a larger presence on the leadership team at hospitals, as they're best qualified to help guide their institution through the complex ups and downs of medication management. When pharmacists are more deeply involved, it not only helps hospitals offer more efficient care, but it also makes patient care safer.

To help speed greater pharmacist involvement, there are several steps hospitals can take, according to Mary Andrawis, PharmD, MPH, director of clinical guidelines and quality improvement for the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.

These steps include opening the lines of communication between the hospital's executive team and its pharmacists to help lower drug costs and support new services; creating a medication safety committee led by a pharmacist; involving pharmacists in planning investments in medication management technology; and including a pharmacist on the clinical team, which can eliminate delays in care and promote better decision-making.

To learn more about these guidelines:
- read this Health Leaders Media piece