ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings: Dispensing and administration - 2011

Craig A. Pedersen, Philip J. Schneider, Douglas J. Scheckelhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Purpose. Results of the 2011 ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings that pertain to dispensing and administration are presented. Methods. A stratified random sample of pharmacy directors at 1401 general and children's medical-surgical hospitals in the United States were surveyed by mail. Results. In this national probability sample survey, the response rate was 40.1%. Decentralization of the medication-use system continues, with 40% of hospitals using a decentralized system and 58% of hospitals planning to use a decentralized model in the future. Automated dispensing cabinets were used by 89% of hospitals, robots were used by 11%, carousels were used in 18%, and machine-readable coding was used in 34% of hospitals to verify doses before dispensing. Overall, 65% of hospitals had a United States Pharmacopeia chapter 797 compliant cleanroom for compounding sterile preparations. Medication administration records (MARs) have become increasingly computerized, with 67% of hospitals using electronic MARs. Bar-code-assisted medication administration was used in 50% of hospitals, and 68% of hospitals had smart infusion pumps. Health information is becoming more electronic, with 67% of hospitals having partially or completely implemented an electronic health record and 34% of hospitals having computerized prescriber order entry. The use of these technologies has substantially increased over the past year. The average number of full-time equivalent staff per 100 occupied beds averaged 17.5 for pharmacists and 15.0 for technicians. Directors of pharmacy reported declining vacancy rates for pharmacists. Conclusion. Pharmacists continue to improve medication use at the dispensing and administration steps of the medication-use system. The adoption of new technology is changing the philosophy of medication distribution, and health information is rapidly becoming electronic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-785
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2012


  • Administration
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Aseptic areas
  • Automation
  • Codes
  • Compounding
  • Computers
  • Data collection
  • Devices
  • Dispensing
  • Drug administration
  • Hospitals
  • Information
  • Medication orders
  • Pharmacists, hospital
  • Pharmacy, institutional, hospital
  • Robotics
  • Sterile products
  • Technology
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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