When pharmacists are on patient care units full-time, they are a greater resource to nurses, physicians, and patients than when they’re in the pharmacy department. Working on patient care units, pharmacists can assist with new orders, intervene immediately, answer questions, educate patients and fellow clinicians, and help in innumerable other ways. All of these activities help reduce the risk of errors that may lead to adverse drug events (ADEs). Plus, pharmacists are often happier working side-by-side with other clinicians and interacting with patients.
- Assign pharmacists to as few units as staffing resources will allow. Pharmacists who are assigned to too many units, cannot effectively perform all of these duties.
- Include pharmacists in all activities that help improve safety, such as safety briefings, rounds, and ADE drills.