ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings: Dispensing and administration - 2020

Craig A. Pedersen, Philip J. Schneider, Michael C. Ganio, Douglas J. Scheckelhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Purpose: Results of the 2020 ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings are presented. Methods: Pharmacy directors at 1,437 general and children's medical/surgical hospitals in the United States were surveyed using a mixed-mode method of contact by email and mail. Survey completion was online. IQVIA supplied data on hospital characteristics; the survey sample was drawn from the IQVIA hospital database. Results: The response rate was 18.7%. Almost all hospitals (92.5%) have a method for pharmacists to review medication orders on demand. Most hospitals (74.5%) use automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs) as their primary method for drug distribution. A third of hospitals use barcodes to verify doses during dispensing in the pharmacy and to verify ingredients when intravenous medications are compounded. More than 80% scan barcodes when restocking ADCs. Sterile workflow management technology is used in 21.3% of hospitals. Almost three-quarters of hospitals outsource some sterile preparations. Pharmacists can independently prescribe in 21.1% of hospitals. Pharmacist practice in ambulatory clinics in 46.2% of health systems and provide telepharmacy services in 28.4% of health systems. Conclusion: Pharmacists continue their responsibility in their traditional role in preparation and dispensing of medications. They have successfully employed technology to improve safety and efficiency in performance of these duties and have employed emerging technologies to improve the safety, timeliness, and efficiency of the administration of drugs to patients. As pharmacists continue to expand their role to all aspects of medication use, new opportunities highlighted in ASHP's Practice Advancement Initiative 2030 have been identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1074-1093
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021


  • ambulatory care pharmacist practice
  • compounded sterile preparations
  • hazardous drugs
  • hospital pharmacy
  • medication administration
  • medication dispensing
  • telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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