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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Effect of clinical pharmacists on care in the emergency department: a systematic review.

Cohen V, Jellinek SP, Hatch A, et al. American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 2009;66:1353-61.

Prevention of medication errors in emergency departments is a growing focus of safety efforts, due in part to a National Patient Safety Goal targeting medication errors. Clinical pharmacists effectively prevent medication errors in the inpatient setting, but their role in the emergency department is less studied. This systematic review of 17 published studies characterizes roles played by emergency pharmacists, including medication reconciliation, error prevention, and a variety of other duties. Another study (not included in this review) found a significant reduction in medication errors after assigning pharmacists to review medication orders in the emergency department. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality supports a research effort on pharmacist involvement in emergency care.