Emergency medicine pharmacy practice in Australia: a national survey

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Background: Emergency medicine (EM) clinical pharmacy is a rapidly growing area of practice. The purpose of this study was to describe current EM pharmacy services in Australia, specifically the number of clinical pharmacy services, services provided within the emergency department (ED), working hours and the qualifications of pharmacists practising in the ED. Methods: Experienced EM clinical pharmacists in collaboration with an emergency physician developed an online survey that was sent electronically to Australian hospital directors of pharmacy. The survey questions related to hospital demographics, EM pharmacy clinical service and EM pharmacist working hours, level of staffing and qualifications. Results: Between 4 November 2016 and 9 December 2016, 57 hospitals completed some or all of the survey from the 248 emails sent (response rate = 23%). Thirty-five of 57 hospitals (61%) identified having a dedicated EM pharmacy service, and 11 of 35 hospitals (31%) indicated a 7-day EM pharmacy service. All hospitals with a dedicated EM pharmacy service were involved in medication reconciliation, discharge counselling and clinical consultation for ED patients. Nine of 34 hospital responses (26.5%) indicated that the EM pharmacist was involved during resuscitation (stroke callouts, cardiopulmonary arrest and/or trauma) during weekdays. Two hospitals also provided this service on weekends. Conclusion: Current clinical activities of EM pharmacists appear to be based on traditional areas of practice, but also include emerging roles of participation during resuscitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-446
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • emergency medicine
  • hospital
  • medication reconciliation
  • pharmacists
  • pharmacy
  • pharmacy service
  • stroke
  • surveys and questionnaires

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