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Can J Hosp Pharm. 2009 Nov-Dec; 62(6): 520.
PMCID: PMC2827026

ASHP’s Management Pearls

Reviewed by Thomas W Paton, PharmD

Ash D Swartwood , editor.  American Society of Health-System Pharmacists,  Bethesda, Maryland,  2009. Softcover, 107 pages.  978-1-58528-219-7. US  $35.00 (US$28.00 for ASHP members). 

The Section of Pharmacy Practice Managers of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) instituted the Management Pearls session at the 2005 Midyear Clinical Meeting. This session is designed to provide a forum for pharmacy managers and leaders to address the continuing needs of the group to develop and share strategies regarding initiatives to improve pharmacy services, to illustrate methods for service improvements, and to share with attendees information about the human resources needed to implement these changes. The short papers compiled in this book represent expanded versions of presentations that were given at the 2007 Management Pearls session in Las Vegas.

The publication presents the proceedings of the meeting in 3 distinct parts. Part 1 consists of 6 papers dealing with development and management of personnel. The articles cover a broad range of topics, including mentoring of staff, career renewal, a “360° performance” tool (a method that incorporates feedback from all stakeholders with whom the employee interacts), and the “makeover” of a pharmacy journal club. A particularly interesting article on “easing a new practitioner into management” provides unique insights into a method that was successful in a multihospital organization in the US Midwest.

Part 2 of the proceedings includes 6 papers on program development, implementation, and management. Two of the papers describe success stories for system-wide approaches, one on standardizing high-risk IV medications and the other on implementing a protocol for venous thromboembolism. Two chapters describe approaches used by 2 institutions to increase success in the documentation of clinical interventions. One paper describes how one organization used a unique “clinical pharmacist communication meeting” to address the need for increased communication among staff regarding the sharing of information about new drugs and procedures.

The final section of the publication, entitled “Financial Management”, comprises 3 papers dedicated to the US system for reimbursement, revenue optimization, and purchasing strategies. Although these 3 papers are an interesting read, they are not particularly germane to Canadian practice.

ASHP’s Management Pearls is a succinct and rapid read. As the title implies, the chapters do not address solutions to vexing problems in a comprehensive manner; rather, each offers a single potential solution. Many of the papers are referenced or provide suggested readings if further research into a topic area is necessary. This is a useful reference to have on hand, but not mandatory.


Articles from The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy are provided here courtesy of Canadian Society Of Hospital Pharmacists