Recently, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) and the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy (ESCP) brought together representatives of the healthcare community to talk about the provision of compassionate patient care, working as part of the healthcare team and advancing the clinical and hospital pharmacy profession. The discussion at the European Parliament focused on unmet health needs, clinical pharmacy services, workforce shortages and the impact of medication errors and the lack of comprehensive and European-wide data on their occurrence.
Many did not know before the launch of the EAHP-ESCP Oath to Society in October 2021 that both professions carry out a variety of activities to ensure optimal treatment outcomes for patients. Almost 1.5 years after the launch, EAHP and ESCP decided to take stock and obtain insights from other stakeholders on how clinical and hospital pharmacists can continue to deliver on the promises included in the Oath to Society.
Reflecting on the value of the initiative ahead of the event, Martina Hahn, ESCP General Committee Member, pointed out that “the Oath to Society is an important step to raise awareness of the profession of pharmacists, and clinical pharmacists in particular. All faculties across Europe received the Oath and if all students and all pharmacists in Europe stick to them and take on the new responsibilities now, every citizen will know what to expect from every pharmacist in Europe — a highly professional service to his or her best health and safety in regards to drug therapy.”
The event in the European Parliament — hosted by Member of the European Parliament István Ujhelyi — brought together key stakeholders that are engaging closely with clinical and hospital pharmacists. The panellists Thomas Kanga-Tona (AIM – International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies), Juan José Fernández Romero (EPF – European Patients’ Forum), Ber Oomen (ESNO – European Specialist Nurses Organisation), Pascal Garel (HOPE – European Hospital and Healthcare Federation) and Marc Hermans (UEMS – European Union of Medical Specialists) shared their positive experiences of working collaboratively with clinical and hospital pharmacists and showed why multidisciplinary approaches are paramount for improving patient care and lowering medication errors, not only in times when healthcare systems are burdened by shortages of medicines and healthcare staff.
The Oath to Society is the promise that the members of EAHP and ESCP make to patients and the public they serve, the healthcare professionals they interact with, and the health systems they work in. The Oath functions as a ‘compass’ for pharmacists to adhere to the highest standards of ethics, integrity and professionalism, as they provide service to the community over the course of their careers. Touching on trust and respect, different aspects of the patient care pathway, the multidisciplinary care team, disease prevention and health promotion, education and the future development of pharmacy practice, the Oath to Society is all-encompassing, said the EAHP.
In his closing remarks during the launch event, EAHP President András Süle thanked the participants for their valuable input and underlined that “EAHP and ESCP look forward to working on increasing the visibility of the Oath to Society by further disseminating them among patient and healthcare professional organisations, the reimbursement of clinical pharmacy, and keeping the discussion alive with patients, physicians, nurses, health providers and payers.”