ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings: Monitoring and patient education - 2003

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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Purpose. Results of the 2003 ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings that pertain to monitoring and patient education are presented. Methods. A stratified random sample of pharmacy directors at 1173 general and children's medical-surgical hospitals in the United States was surveyed by mail. SMG Marketing Group, Inc., supplied data on hospital characteristics; the survey sample was drawn from SMG's hospital database. Results. The response rate was 47.1%. Virtually all hospitals (95.3%) had pharmacists regularly monitoring medication therapy in some capacity. Patient monitoring has improved since 2000; fewer respondents reported monitoring less than 25% of patients in the hospital, and most hospitals reported an increase in the amount of time pharmacists devoted to monitoring activities. Pharmacists were provided computer access to laboratory information in 78% of hospitals to facilitate this function. Detection and reporting of adverse drug events (ADEs) have substantially increased since 1999, with an increase of 42% in events reported internally. Strategies to improve ADE reporting were in place in 84% of hospitals, indicating that pharmacists are adopting the widely recommended philosophy of learning from errors. Errors were less widely reported externally, limiting the value of aggregated data for improving the medication-use process. Most hospitals (85.5%) had an interprofessional infrastructure in place to discuss and learn from voluntary reports of ADEs. Medication counseling continued to be relatively infrequent, with nearly three fourths of hospitals reporting fewer than 26% of inpatients received medication education. Pharmacist staffing in hospitals has risen significantly, from an average of 8. 6 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in 2002 to 9.4 FTEs per hospital. Vacancy rates for pharmacists decreased from 7.3% in 2002 to 43%. It is now estimated that there are 1846 vacancies in hospital pharmacies. Conclusion. Notable improvements in hospital pharmacy practice have been made. The percentage of patients whose medication therapy is monitored by pharmacists has increased, and most hospitals reported that the amount of time pharmacists spent monitoring patients' medication therapy had increased. Internal and external reporting of ADEs has increased, and pharmacist vacancies have decreased from 2002. Staffing has also improved, suggesting an abatement of the critical shortage of pharmacists in the hospital setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-471
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004


  • Data collection
  • Drugs, adverse reactions
  • Errors, medication
  • Manpower
  • Patient Information
  • Pharmaceutical services
  • Pharmacists, hospital
  • Pharmacy, institutional, hospital
  • Reports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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