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An overview of the EAHP 2006 Congress


Carole Mongin-Bulewski
Hospital Pharmacy Europe

The 11th EAHP Annual Congress will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in March 2006. This article provides an overview of the forthcoming conference. The congress is being organised in cooperation with the Swiss Society of Public Health and Hospital Pharmacists (GSASA).

The main focus of the 11th EAHP Annual Congress will be on improving quality and safety and reducing risks through quality assurance. Quality assurance and the development of standards (codices, pharmacopoeias) have always been integral parts of the pharmaceutical profession. In the same way, quality assurance is integral to all aspects of hospital pharmacy.

The keynote lectures will focus on: drug action in progressing disease; safety management in hospital pharmacy; and the process from quality control to integral quality assurance.

In addition, seminars and industry-sponsored satellite symposia will cover other relevant topics. Topics covered will range from creating a European Drug Information Network to documenting pharmacist interventions and the role of IT technology, from prescribing to dispensing. Other topics will include: good manufacturing practices in patient-oriented pharmacy; stability of injectable drugs; the evolution of production of total parenteral nutrition through the years; barcode and RFID technology; evidence-based drug formularies; and modern imaging technology and drug development.

Quality of pharmaceutical services
The first keynote presentation of the conference, by Johnny Benet (ICHV Pharmacy, Sion, Switzerland), will develop on the topic of the quality of pharmaceutical services as a tool to help improve the safety of the medication process. Another keynote lecture, by Cathy Mooney (Clinical Governance Manager, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK), on the final day of the congress, will complete this by discussing risk management in hospital pharmacy. In addition, several seminars will focus on these topics. In particular, the National Presidents Symposium will develop on local initiatives on patient safety. Speakers will include Martin Schuitenmaker (President, Dutch hospital pharmacists association), Anne Helene Kahns (President, Danish hospital pharmacists association). Other seminars related to the quality of pharmaceutical services will focus on: the need for drug information exchange across European countries to create a European information service network; the documentation of pharmacist interventions; and the realities facing the development of an integrated automated medication system in the hospital.

Other seminars
Barcoding and radio-frequency identification (RFID) will be among the topics that will also be developed during the congress. The technical principles will be presented by Christian Hay (GSI Europe’s Healthcare Initiative, Rolle, Switzerland), while the application of scanning technologies to the medication process will be developed by Michael Baehr (University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany).

A seminar will focus on evidence-based drug formularies, or how to produce a drug information document to support the decisions of therapeutic committees/hospital formulary committees. First, Roger Walker (Professor of Pharmacy/ Consultant in Pharmaceutical Public Health, Cardiff, UK) will explain why we need such formularies. Rob Janknegt (Maaslandziekenhuis Sittard, The Netherlands) will then develop on the technology of drug selection and, finally, Michael Scott (Antrim Area Hospital, UK) will present some practical applications.

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