Clinical pharmacy services in the emergency department

Published:January 21, 2018DOI:


      The emergency department (ED) is a fast-paced, high-risk, and often overburdened work environment. Formal policy statements from several notable organizations, including the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), have recognized the importance of clinical pharmacists in the emergency medicine (EM) setting. EM clinical pharmacists work alongside emergency physicians and nurses at the bedside to optimize pharmacotherapy, improve patient safety, increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness of care, facilitate antibiotic stewardship, educate patients and clinicians, and contribute to scholarly efforts. This paper examines the history of EM clinical pharmacists and associated training programs, the diverse responsibilities and roles of EM clinical pharmacists, their impact on clinical and financial outcomes, and proposes a conceptual model for EM clinical pharmacist integration into ED patient care. Finally, barriers to implementing EM clinical pharmacy programs and limitations are considered.


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