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It's National Hospital & Health-System Pharmacy Week, and ASHP is encouraging pharmacists to give themselves a shout-out.
Healthcare pharmacists are being recognized for their hard work and expertise within their organizations and through social media and other marketing efforts for National Hospital & Health-System Pharmacy Week, which takes place October 18-24.
To celebrate the week, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is urging pharmacists to share infographics on medication safety issues with patients, which the organization released earlier this month on SafeMedication.com.
“The infographics include a list of five questions that consumers or patients should ask their pharmacists, such as what the medication does, its side effects, and what they should do if they miss a dose,” said Aretha Hankinson, director of advocacy communications for ASHP. Another infographic lets consumers know that the time of day they take a medication affects how well it works. One of the other infographics encourages patients to write down a list of the medications they are taking and share it with their doctors and pharmacists.
ASHP is also using social media throughout the week to thank its members for their year-round efforts.
“Our members are making an impact every day on the lives of their patients, and we believe that it is important to recognize and commend them,” Hankinson said.
In addition, ASHP is encouraging pharmacists and others to use the hashtag #PharmacyWeek when they share stories of pharmacists’ contributions and expertise in social media.
Some healthcare systems are honoring pharmacists throughout the week by calling attention to the valuable role that pharmacists play in patients’ healthcare.
“Many consumers are not aware that pharmacists play a critical role in preventing medication errors, advising prescribers on the best drug choices, and working directly with patients to ensure they understand how to use their medications safely and effectively,” said Garry Miller, RPh, pharmacy director at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Maine. “Pharmacy Week is a great way to educate the public about how pharmacists can help them get the most benefit from their medicine.”
Pharmacists have gotten much more involved in patient care for a number of reasons, including the deployment of highly trained, certified technicians and new technologies such as robotics, according to a statement from Franklin Memorial Hospital. “As technology evolves - such as the addition of machine-readable codes to medication labels - patients will have greater opportunities to have a pharmacist involved in their care,” the statement said.
(Infographic courtesy of the ASHP website, www.safemedication.com)