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Joan Peppard elected as next EAHP President

24 Jun, 14 | by ltempler

Joan Peppard has been elected as the next President of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP), commencing a 3 year term of office from June 2015. She will now serve one year as President Elect during the final 12 months of Dr Roberto Frontini’s Presidency of the Association.

The election took place at the General Assembly of the EAHP in Sofia. The General Assembly is the annual occasion at which the 34 member countries of EAHP meet in person to determine policy, elect the Board, scrutinise the activities of the Association and conduct other decision making activity.

Joan, a chief pharmacist in a hospital in the Irish midlands, currently serves on the EAHP Board as Director of Professional Development and has twice been the head of the Hospital Pharmacists Association of Ireland in the position of President. Prior to joining the EAHP Board Joan was for many years one of the lead delegates for Ireland within the EAHP annual General Assembly, and played an active role in the conduct of EAHP educational and research activities at the national level.

Speaking after her election, Joan Peppard, President-Elect of EAHP said: “It is with a sense of great humility that I begin to take on the primary leadership role of the EAHP, knowing that under the stewardship of predecessors a real momentum of energy and experience has been established to make EAHP the driver for hospital pharmacy practice improvement across Europe that it is today. With the new European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy recently agreed between the profession, patients and other healthcare professionals, the number one challenge for the forthcoming EAHP Board is evident – how to turn that clear vision for the future of the profession into a reality in every European country. Working with my colleagues on the Board, the secretariat and our dedicated membership, I know we have the commitment, insight and enthusiasm to achieve it. I again thank members for the confidence they have placed in me and look forward to working with them in delivering our shared aspirations for the profession we all love.”

Dr Roberto Frontini, President of EAHP added: “Knowing very well Joan’s professional background, and her proven ability to make change happen on the ground, even in the most difficult practice environments, I am completely assured EAHP will continue to go from strength to strength in the achievement of its mission under her leadership. I’m therefore looking forward to assisting in the handover period, and introducing her personally to the many partner, friend and allied organisations we work with in ensuring the continuous improvement of all that the hospital pharmacist does across our member countries.”


More information can be found on the EAHP website here

Patients and professionals agree the future vision for hospital pharmacy in Europe

16 May, 14 | by ltempler

A robust set of hospital pharmacy practice standards for Europe has been agreed at an international Summit in Brussels. These standards should be met across European health systems to ensure safe, effective and optimal use of medicines in collaboration with multi-disciplinary teams. The standards, comprising 44 statements of practice, were agreed at the European Hospital Pharmacy Summit which concluded on Thursday 15th May, and was attended by more than 100 persons.

The statements were subject to open Delphi consultation with national hospital pharmacy associations, European patient groups, doctors and nursing organisations. The organisations then gave their final joint approval to each statement individually by a weighted voting method at the Summit event. The European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy include:

  • All hospitals should have access to a hospital pharmacist who has overall responsibility for the safe, effective and optimal use of medicines.
  • Hospital pharmacists should be involved in all patient care settings to prospectively influence collaborative, multidisciplinary therapeutic decision-making.
  • All prescriptions should be reviewed and validated as soon as possible by a hospital pharmacist.
  • Hospital pharmacists should play a full part in decision making including advising, implementing and monitoring medication changes in full partnership with patients, carers and other health care professionals
  • Hospital pharmacists should have access to the patients’ health record. Their clinical interventions should be documented in the patients’ health record and analysed to inform quality improvement interventions.
  • Clinical pharmacy services should continuously evolve to optimise patients’ outcomes.

The 44 European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy are available here.

Dr Roberto Frontini, President of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) said:

“Through the new European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy, patients, hospital pharmacists and our sister healthcare professionals have set out a clear vision for what hospital pharmacy should be achieving in every European country. The task now turns immediately to implementation. EAHP will roll out a series of tools and initiatives to support the achievement of the statements, but a major onus now falls on health systems to prepare the way for improvement as well. The positive support from patient organisations and other healthcare professionals assures us that the statements are a shared aspiration and provide a route towards continuously improving patient care within hospitals in every European country.”



This information was taken from the EAHP website, more details can be found here.

Four reports of eHealth Stakeholder Group published

15 Apr, 14 | by ltempler

On 11 April 2014, the European Commission published a series of reports by the eHealth Stakeholder Group (eHSG), an advisory group of which EAHP was an active member.

The reports related to:

  • eHealth interoperability
  • patient’s access to Electronic Health Records
  • eHealth inequalities
  • Telemedicine deployment (Key Action 13 of Digital Agenda)

The report on eHealth interoperability is connected to the European Commission’s operational objective, set out in itseHealth Action Plan 2012-2020, to achieve wider interoperability of ehealth services by the end of 2015. The principal recommendations from the stakeholder group to the Commission included:

  • focus on priority use cases which have been widely adopted and for which mature specifications exist;
  • clarify privacy and data protection requirements; and,
  • foster the use of international standards.

On patient access to the electronic health records, the stakeholders recommended that:

  • patients should be in charge of their own medical file, and be able to ‘log in’ and inspect it. Amongst the reasoning given was that: “The option to access one”s own information is a fundamental right that is embodied in the EU Data Protection legislation”;
  • access to patients” health records should only be permitted to the health professionals directly involved with the patient”s condition on a need to know basis;
  • patients should be given the possibility to know who accessed their EHR and restrict access if they wish so and are informed about the risks of doing so.

The report on ehealth inequalities looked at the concern that the rise of ehealth applications may have an unintended consequence of increasing health inequalities. Stakeholders believed that the speed of change, the costs involved in accessing and upgrading the required hardware/software and devices and various barriers related to insufficient knowledge, skills and literacy, lack of user-friendliness and doubts over the meaningfulness of information can all present the possibility of new health inequalities.

However, if directed appropriately, ehealth could also address inequalities. Sweden is held up in the report as a good case study, with its national strategy on eHealth including provisions on ‘’eServices for accessibility and empowerment’’. Another good case study identified is the practice in Danish hospitals of providing interpretation services via video conferencing, which is particularly useful for migrants unfamiliar with Danish medical culture and treatments.

The report recommends:

  • various categories of end users have to be an integral part of the design, evaluation and follow-up during the whole lifecycle of technologies so that particular challenges experienced by specific user groups can be understood and rectified;
  • when implementing large-scale eHealth systems, adequate consideration should be given to the needs of vulnerable groups such as children, migrants or people with mental and other disabilities;
  • the creation of sufficient incentives for industry to come up with solutions for underserved patients and communities; and,
  • some financial subsidies be made available for the purchase of eHealth equipment/ICT access for patients from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The report on telemedicine, advised the Commission to clearly differentiate two types of telemedicine services:

  • medical Act type telemedicine services, implying that registered medical doctors perform an existing medical practice over a distance; and,
  • telemonitoring type services, services provide multi-professional care teams with physiological parameters of the patient, with the support of remote monitoring technologies

The latter is seen as the more disruptive technology of two, challenging health care organization, professional roles and reimbursement rules. The report’s recommendations include:

  • digital literacy and training in using eHealth tools should become part of the educational curricula of all Health Professionals; and,
  • benefit and added value of telemedicine services should be systematically monitored and evaluated.

More information and the original post can be found on the EAHP website here

19th Congress of the EAHP looks to the future hospital pharmacist in 2020

3 Apr, 14 | by ltempler

A major talking point of last week’s Congress of the EAHP in Barcelona was the future roles and competencies for hospital pharmacists in the year 2020 and beyond.  Drawing from the keynote speech of Dr. Roberto Frontini on Thursday 27th March, attendees debated the extent to which the future hospital pharmacist must more thoroughly adopt ‘social competencies’ in order to effectively communicate with increasingly health literate patients.

On Wednesday 26th March, Prof. Daan Crommelin explored with Congress attendees the social drivers of innovation. He urged hospital pharmacists to understand the essential need for any profession to adopt innovation in order to survive, as well as the importance of maintaining open minds about adopting new technologies from other sectors. On the final day of Congress, Dr. Graham Walton investigated the problem of knowledge management in times of information overload. Whilst the problem is driven to a large degree by new technologies, coping strategies are available by putting in place effective working practices.

With the exception of the main auditorium, it was standing room only for many sessions, including the Synergy Satellite event on novel anticoagulants, and the topical seminar on drug shortages. The Synergy event, supported by an educational grant from Bayer Pharmaceuticals, examined how choices about oral anticoagulants can best be made. Synergy speaker Duncan McRobbie of Guy’s and St. Thomas hospitals (London) also took attendees through some of the primary patient compliance considerations in the area of anticoagulation treatment.

At the drug shortages seminar, Dr Thomas Langebner reflected on the changes within the pharmaceutical sector that could be driving the growing problem. This included the expiry of major patents, increasing complexity of global medicines supply chains, failure of quality management, and the unintended consequences of cost containment measures. He made a personal call for the European Union to understand the urgency of the problem and to take steps to re-establish sustainable supply systems.

Attendees also packed the session room for the new Congress programme feature, ‘Good Practice Initiatives’(GPIs). A full house heard about noteworthy examples of practice improvements from the change-makers themselves, with opportunities provided to draw inspiration for the attendees’ return to their hospital setting.

Speaking at the end of the week’s events, Congress organiser and EAHP Chief Operating Officer Jennie De Greef said:

“The hot topics covered, unique networking opportunities, and ever-growing programme of events continues to see the EAHP Congress broaden its international reach and attendance.  We depart Barcelona with a spring in our step and real momentum to reach new heights again in Hamburg in 2015. Finally, I want to express gratitude to all of EAHP’s sponsors and especially, Platinum partners Amgen and Bayer, and Corporate Partner Pfizer, for making the year-on-year realisation of our educational ambitions possible.”

No advantage in double dose oseltamivir in treatment of severe influenza

23 Jul, 13 | by kuppell

A study investigating the validity of recommendations in treatment guidelines to use higher than approved doses of oseltamivir in patients with severe influenza has found that there were no virological or clinical advantages with double dose compared with standard dose.

The double-blind randomised control trial was conducted in 13 hospitals in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The study included 326 patients, of which 246 were children (<15 years), and 165 and 161 patients were randomised to receive double (150mg twice daily or paediatric equivalent) or standard (75mg twice daily or paediatric equivalent) oseltamivir, respectively. A total of 260 patients (79.8%) were infected with influenza virus A, 53 (16.2%) with influenza virus B and 13 (3.9%) were found to be false positive by rapid antigen test.

The primary endpoint was the viral status according to reverse transcriptase PCR for influenza RNA in a combined nasal and throat swab on day 5 after oseltamivir treatment. Secondary clinical endpoints included mortality, mechanical ventilation, admission to intensive care, symptoms and resumption of activity. The researchers say: ‘We found that double dose oseltamivir was well tolerated but did not confer additional virological or clinical benefits over standard dose treatment in South East Asia. There were no differences between the treatment arms in detection of viral RNA or infectious virus on day 5.’ They do, however, point out that as all patients were randomised to an active treatment the study was not designed to evaluate the efficacy of oseltamivir in H5N1 infections. BMJ 2013;346:f3039.

Latest from European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy

Latest from European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy