Pharmacy Practice

Demonstrate Quality and Celebrate Excellence

Published: November 1, 2022
ashp logo - become an ashp certified center of excellence

ASHP's Certified Center of Excellence™ in Medication Use Safety and Pharmacy Practice Program enhances credibility and value for the pharmacy department.

ASHP members have sought a program to recognize innovative, high quality, and safe and effective pharmacy services in hospitals and health systems for some time. ASHP’s new certification program, recognizing excellence in medication-use safety and pharmacy practice, differentiates awardees from other organizations. It also enhances the pharmacy department’s credibility and value of its services to physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers, healthcare leaders/administrators, policymakers, and patients and the public.

The ASHP Standard for Hospital and Health-System Certificate of Excellence in Medication Use Safety and Pharmacy Practice reflects contemporary best practices in pharmacy practice for hospitals and health systems through the following primary areas:

Placement of Pharmacy Department Within the Health System

  • Organizational Relationships
  • Team-Based Care

Health-System Processes Supporting Safe Medication Use and Pharmacy Practice

  • Medication Use and Safety
  • Information Management and Data Science
  • Automation and Technology

The Pharmacy Department and Its Services

  • Leadership and Management
  • Patient Care Services
  • Operations
  • Quality and Performance Improvement
  • Financial Management
  • Education, Training, and Research
  • People

Organizations pursuing designation as an ASHP-Certified Center of Excellence undergo a formal review process assessing their performance in the above key areas of the Standard. Pharmacy departments also use the Standard for strategic planning and to identify opportunities for improvement and close gaps, which serve to elevate practice.

The certification process includes submission of documents to demonstrate evidence of compliance with the Standard, followed by a 3-5 day on-site survey. Required documents include organizational charts and policies and procedures, dashboards and balanced scorecards, outcomes and quality measures data, descriptions (stories) to illustrate compliance with Standard requirements – especially in the areas of innovation, data and statistics (financial, operations, clinical, etc.), and process maps and flowcharts.

The ASHP Pharmacy Practice Accreditation Commission oversees the Center of Excellence program and, if appropriate, recommends certification of applicants to the ASHP Board of Directors for a term of three years.  Recertification occurs every three years, repeating the entire process.

“The ASHP Center of Excellence certification allows hospitals and health systems to demonstrate attainment of the highest levels of excellence in pharmacy practice, medication safety, and overall pharmacy patient care services,” said ASHP Chief Executive Officer Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD (Hon), FASHP.

Certified Centers of Excellence have met a significantly high bar because the Standard reflects optimal pharmacy practice for the optimal and safe use of medications. Certified Centers of Excellence are recognized by ASHP and within their hospital or health system for this achievement. Further, Certified Centers of Excellence are likely to promote their certification to patients and payers in the same manner as is done by organizations that achieve Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.  Finally, the program’s impact may facilitate research opportunities for pharmacy practice in the future. 

While at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition, please visit us in the ASHP Experience Booth to learn more.  Or contact us at [email protected] and visit

Posted November 1, 2022

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