Safety Matters – Especially to Our Patients

by Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD, FASHP

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is dedicated to building relationships within the health care community that strengthen medication and patient safety through interprofessional care. We are excited to have the Society of Hospital Medicine’s (SHM) participation this year in our Medication Safety Collaborative. As health care practitioners, our number one goal is to deliver quality care to patients throughout the entire health care continuum. ASHP’s Medication Safety Collaborative helps to achieve this goal.

The collaboration between hospitalists and pharmacists is very important. As medication therapy experts, pharmacists—when working collaboratively with physicians, nurses and other health care practitioners—help to foster optimal models for team-based, patient-centered care. The Medication Safety Collaborative (Collaborative) promotes this by offering a unique interprofessional, educational opportunity to bring together practitioners to build and exchange ideas on improving quality and patient care. The feedback we received about last year’s Collaborative was phenomenal. Participants noted the great sense of community they felt after attending the Collaborative and the valuable resources and networking provided. Participants not only walked away from the Collaborative with continuing education credits in their field, but also with tangible solutions to integrate best practices and deploy new tools to optimize safety and quality outcomes. Our hope is to continue this momentum.

This year we have made the Collaborative an integral part of ASHP’s annual Summer Meetings—as one of three boutique conferences. I cordially invite you to attend and to be a part of this collective experience. As a registrant of the Collaborative, you will also have full access to all of the sessions and events occurring at our two other simultaneous conferences, the Informatics Institute and the Pharmacy Practice and Policy conference. We hope this access will allow you to customize your Summer Meetings experience, as you can stay in the Collaborative or attend any individual session of your interest.

The Collaborative brings together an invaluable assortment of knowledge and health care perspectives, like yours, which include: physicians, patient safety officers, nurses, pharmacists, medication safety officers, quality professionals, risk managers, and administrators. Again, we invite you to attend ASHP’s Medication Safety Collaborative, and look forward to the insight and experience SHM’s members will bring to further enrich its discussions.

For more information on the Medication Safety Collaborative and to register, please visit


As a medical society that welcomes all practitioners who influence inpatient care, SHM invites collaborations with and insights from pharmacists so that together we can provide the best care possible to hospitalized patients everywhere. SHM is a promotional partner of ASHP’s for the Medication Safety Collaborative slated for May 31 to June 4, 2014.



Paul Abramowitz ASHPPaul W. Abramowitz is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

Prior to joining ASHP in September 2011, Dr. Abramowitz worked in hospitals and health-systems for over 30 years, most recently as Associate Hospital Director for Professional Services and Chief Pharmacy Officer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  He also served as Professor and Assistant Dean at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. He was previously the Director of Pharmacy and a faculty member at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics.

Dr. Abramowitz received a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Biology from Indiana University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Toledo, a PharmD from the University of Michigan, and completed his residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

In addition to serving as Treasurer of ASHP from 2007-10 and as ASHP President in 1993-94, he chaired the Board of the ASHP Research and Education Foundation, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, and the Board of Directors of the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center.

Dr. Abramowitz has actively combined practice, teaching, and research throughout his career. He has lectured and published extensively focusing on the effect that quality pharmaceutical care can have on improving outcomes of care and reducing costs, reduction of adverse drug events, developing new care models, and practice innovation.

He was a recipient of the John W. Webb Lecture Award in 2000 and the Harvey A.K. Whitney Lecture Award in 2009, health-system pharmacy’s highest honor.  In 1990, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy, in 2010, the Alumni Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, and in 2013 the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Toledo.

Currently, Dr. Abramowitz serves on the Boards of the National Patient Safety Foundation, the American Nurses Foundation, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.  He is Professor-Emeritus at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy.


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