Hospital pharmacy is a specialized field of pharmacy that is integrated into the care of a medical center. These include centers such as a hospital, outpatient clinic, drug-dependency facility, poison control center, drug information center of residential care facility.
The profession involves choosing, preparing, storing, compounding and dispensing medications for patients in a medical environment. Another important area is the provision of advice to both patients and other health professionals about the safe and effective use of medicines.
The role of the hospital pharmacist is varied and may include various tasks including:
- Devising specific medication plans that are individualized for patients
- Assisting physicians and other health professionals to make drug-based decisions
- Compounding medications for use in the hospital
- Helping patients to understand their medications and how to take them
- Conducting clinical trials to uncover new or modified treatments for rare diseases
- Providing medicines in emergency situations
- Assisting in specialized medical care, such as for cancer patients
The primary mission of hospital pharmacy is to manage the use of medications in hospitals and other medical centers. Goals include the selection, prescription, procuration, delivery, administration and review of medications to optimize patient outcomes. It is important to ensure that the right patient, dose, route of administration, time, drug, information and documentation are respected when any medication is used.