The results of this study reveal overwhelmingly that the EPh role is highly valued and often utilised by staff, and is perceived to improve patient safety and quality of care.
These results have important implications for ED and hospital leadership teams who are considering implementing an EPh programme. While some may worry that resistance from physicians and nurses could be a barrier to implementation, this study clearly demonstrates that the EPh is highly valued and sought out by ED providers and nurses in an established programme.
Our findings support specific duties of the EPh which have been suggested in previous reports.5,9
For example, respondents felt that high risk and rarely used medications should be checked by a pharmacist when possible. Respondents who care for children felt that a mandatory review of certain medication orders for children would improve medication safety. Almost all respondents felt that the EPh was helpful with medical and trauma resuscitations, review of medications, for consultation, and as a patient educator.
This study supports the principle of physically locating the EPh in the ED. Respondents reported that they tend to consult with the pharmacist more often than they would if the pharmacist were remotely located. Furthermore, certain valued duties, such as patient education, checking orders, and attendance at resuscitations are not possible from a remote location.
Limitations of this study include the fact that it is from a well established EPh programme, so may not be easily generalised to EDs in non‐academic centres or with new programmes. However, our findings support that, once established, staff will value the programme.
This study found that doctors and nurses in this academic ED overwhelmingly support the presence of an EPh, regularly seek their advice, and feel that they improve patient safety and quality of care. The results reinforce the value of many specific duties of this EPh programme, and demonstrate that staff acceptance should not be a barrier to implementation of an EPh programme.