Hospital administrators are focused on growth and managing expenses as their institutions confront financial challenges. Two major hospital expenses are the cost of drugs and the financial support paid to anesthesiology providers for clinical services. In this uncertain environment, hospital administrators are asking anesthesiology departments to improve the utilization of medications in addition to patient care responsibilities. The need for the safe administration of medications by bedside providers and the requirement for hospital pharmacies to cost-effectively manage and distribute medications provide an opportunity for collaboration between anesthesiologists and hospital pharmacy directors.

The fundamental mission of the hospital pharmacy is the safe procurement and distribution of medications to patients. The role of the pharmacist is complex and involves purchasing, storing, preparing, distributing, verifying, auditing and the reconciling of hundreds of medications every day. In addition, the pharmacy must follow state and federal regulations, and manage requests for formulary additions.

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