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Right patient, right time, right pharmacist: the time for clinical prioritisation tools?

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Hospital pharmacists play an essential and ever expanding role in patient care by ensuring that medicines are used safely and effectively. However, as pharmacists’ roles have expanded, so, too, have patient numbers. Without a corresponding match in the number of hospital pharmacists, decisions have to be made about which patients should be provided clinical pharmacy services. Clinical pharmacy has evolved considerably over the past two decades, yet the approach to deploying clinical pharmacy services has generally remained unchanged. The traditional, and perhaps futile, approach of pharmacists working on a bed-by-bed basis to provide their services is being questioned. Does this conventional approach mean that patients who are at risk of adverse drug events can be overlooked by pharmacists by simply sitting in the final bed of a hospital ward? Are pharmacists reviewing patients on a daily basis who are unlikely to experience any harm …

Correspondence to Dr Penny Lewis, Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre (MAHSC), University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, UK; penny.lewis{at}

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