ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings: Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pharmacy operations - 2020

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Results of the 2020 ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings pertaining to pharmacy operational changes implemented in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic 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. Results: The response rate was 18.7%. Seventy-three percent of hospitals implemented changes to hospital units, including 46% that increased intensive care unit bed capacity; 94% made changes to pharmacy supply chain acquisition, changes to products, and/or increased inventory. Staffing changes were implemented by 69% of hospitals, with the most common being staffing reductions (55%) and salary reductions (16%). Medication-use changes were implemented by 86% of hospitals, with treatment guidelines for COVID-19 treatment (79%) and opening compassionate use or investigational drug studies (55%) being the most common. Changes in sterile compounding processes were implemented by 84% of hospitals. Personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages led to 71% of hospitals modifying PPE use standards in sterile compounding. Eighty-seven percent of hospitals changed operational activities, such as changing medication return practices (56%), medication reconciliation processes (46%), intravenous medication recycling (38%), and discharge counseling (37%). Hospitals experienced shortages of many medications, including albuterol inhalers (60%), sedatives and anesthetic agents (58%), neuromuscular blockers (43%), corticosteroids (34%), cardiovascular agents (24%), investigational agents (24%), and dialysis solutions (6%). Conclusion: The pharmacy profession responded to myriad threats to operations and patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1701-1712
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2021


  • compounded sterile preparations
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • hospital pharmacy operations
  • telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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