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HOSPITAL/COMMUNITY PHARMACIST SHARING OF EXPERTISE

Executive Summary

HOSPITAL/COMMUNITY PHARMACIST SHARING OF EXPERTISE could improve overall patient care, APhA President Jack Schlegel urged in an Oct. 11 address to the Maryland Society of Hospital Pharmacists, in Baltimore. He suggested that not only should community pharmacists, under APhA's plan to develop residencies, have some training in the hospital environment, but that hospital-pharmacist residents should spend some time in the community pharmacy. Suggesting a need for "complementary roles" by hospital and community pharmacists in monitoring drug therapy for outpatients and providing services for home care, Schlegel urged: "We all must work diligently to remove the clinical versus traditional pharmacy attitude and reality. Clinical means patient care, and that is what our profession is all about." Schlegel asked the hospital pharmacists "to work with us as we work toward raising the level of pharmacy practice and offer all pharmacists opportunities to rise above what some refer to as counting and pouring functions." He added: "You who are privileged to work in institutions where you do have sophisticated programs, where the use of new technologies is at its highest and where opportunities for education and training abound, must share your experiences, resources, and expertise with pharmacists practicing in other settings." Pharmacist-sharing of experiences and expertise was seen by the APhA president "as essential to advancing our profession as a whole. To isolate small segments of the profession can only weaken our position wherever we must make a stand." Day-to-day experience of clinical practitioners in working more closely with patients, MDs and other providers "has shown the way for their colleagues," Schlegel declared, admonishing: "But you who are clinical pharmacists must now come out of splendid institutional isolation and take leadership in the profession to implement clinical practice in the community practice setting. Clinical pharmacy practice -- with all its specialties -- should not be unique to only a few. We are first pharmacists; all else follows."

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