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Making a difference by advancing patient care with the help of digitalisation
The roles of hospital pharmacists are changing and so is the environment in which they work. Digitalisation is impacting a vast spectrum of healthcare services ranging from electronic prescribing, medical records and automation to text message prompts that remind patients to take their medicines and artificial intelligence revolutionising treatment. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the speed with which digitalisation to support healthcare delivery is introduced in hospitals, but there are still considerable gaps due to the lack of uniformity and interoperability across Europe.
In order for healthcare electronic services to be safe, effective and add genuine value to the system, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) believes that these services should be developed in close collaboration with healthcare professionals including hospital pharmacists and patients. To ensure that hospital pharmacists are capable of fully using all the digitalisation benefits for their patients and the functioning of the healthcare system, investments in infrastructure, software and hardware are needed across Europe.
Consequently, EAHP’s member associations call on national governments and health systems across Europe to work towards adequately making provisions for hospital pharmacists and the patients they serve for the digital future of healthcare.
An urgent need for investments to improve the digital infrastructure in hospitals
In view of the increase in digitalisation in healthcare provision and the future adoption of a European Health Data Space (EHDS), hospital pharmacies across Europe need to be provided with proper software and hardware solutions as well as systematic improvements, including sufficient space to host digital solutions within the pharmacy premises. When introducing new systems in hospitals, software producers should be obliged to connect the established and the new systems with each other, guaranteeing interoperability between the two.
Digital tools are reliant on standardised, integrative and interoperable solutions. For example, the EHDS recognises that the improved efficiency of healthcare services and patient care relies on integrated and interoperable …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Author note This position paper was approved and adopted by the delegates of the 53rd EAHP General Assembly in June 2023.