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A useful adjunct to on-the-job training in hospital pharmacy

Medication distribution and using automation technology feature in this valuable book for pharmacy undergraduates and pharmacy technicians in training.

Book cover of 'Introduction to Acute and Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice, Second Edition'

Introduction to Acute and Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice, Second Edition

By David A. Holdford. Pp ix+446. Price $67. Maryland: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; 2017. ISBN 978-1-58528-545-7

It is unusual for the second edition of a book to have a different title from the first edition. This edition has evolved from Introduction to Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Practice and the new title acknowledges the growing importance of the pharmacist’s role in ambulatory care.

The book comprises 20 chapters divided into eight distinct parts. While some of the chapters apply specifically to the American healthcare system, others are applicable to healthcare outside the United States. The parts of the book that are relevant to the UK include topics such as managing medication use, managing medication distribution, using technology including automation, sterile product preparation and administration, and managing people and leadership.

Each chapter opens with learning objectives, followed by key terms and definitions. Throughout each chapter, key points are raised and then explained. Questions for discussion, intended to initiate dialogue and debate are offered, and review questions for self-assessment are provided at the end.

The chapter on pharmacy technicians illustrates that their role is emerging slowly but it is heartening to read that the pharmacy profession in the United States fully supports expanding opportunities for pharmacy technicians, and that pharmacists want technicians to be active members of healthcare teams.

In the chapter on automation, a table of automation selection criteria is very helpful to any pharmacy considering purchasing a robot. Patient safety and medication error reduction appears in the part of the book relating to managing medication use. The concepts of a safety culture is emphasised and a series of recommendations relating to the prevention of medication errors is included along with models of quality improvement.

The book has been written primarily for pharmacy undergraduates and student pharmacy technicians. It will be a valuable adjunct to on-the-job training. It will also have some value in helping those planning a career in community practice to have a better understanding of the hospital sector. Community practitioners who seek career moves into hospital practice may also find this book useful. Finally, it will enable students and newly qualified practitioners to acquire and understand the terminology that will allow them to speak knowledgeably and professionally with colleagues.

Laurence A Goldberg

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203835

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