The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) recently released five recommendations to facilitate optimal medication use for patients in acute and ambulatory care settings as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign.
ASHP is the first pharmacy organization to participate in the campaign and will work with Consumer Reports to develop patient resources to support their Choosing Wisely recommendations. Pharmacists are important members of the clinical team, providing guidance on the proper use of medications to keep patients safe and avoid overuse of costly prescriptions.
“ASHP is pleased to participate in this important initiative and add to the growing list of Choosing Wisely recommendations for improving patient outcomes,” said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP. “Our list of recommendations encourages practices that are proven to prevent adverse events, reduce unnecessary treatments and enhance patient safety by giving patients access to pharmacists’ medication-use expertise.”
ASHP has provided the following recommendations:
- Do not initiate medications to treat symptoms, adverse events, or side effects without determining if an existing therapy or lack of adherence is the cause, and whether a dosage reduction, discontinuation of a medication, or another medication is warranted.
- Do not prescribe medications for patients on five or more medications, or continue medications indefinitely, without a comprehensive review of their existing medications, including over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements, to determine whether any of the medications or supplements should or can be discontinued.
- Do not continue medications based solely on the medication history unless the history has been verified with the patient by a medication-use expert and the need for continued therapy has been established.
- Do not prescribe patients medications at discharge that they were on prior to admission without verifying that these medications are still needed and that the discharge medications will not result in duplication, drug interactions, or adverse events.
- Do not prescribe or administer oral liquid medications using teaspoon or tablespoon for measurement; use only milliliters (mL) when measuring with an approved dosing device (e.g., medication cup or oral syringe).
See ASHP’s complete list of recommendations and the evidence supporting them.