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Published on 1 January 2008

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Sharing knowledge, practice and experience

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Hospital pharmacists can gain a valuable but all too often unrecognised contribution to their continuing professional development by networking with their peers all over Europe.

Ray Fitzpatrick, Consultant Editor.

As I read through the articles in this edition of Hospital Pharmacy Europe seeking inspiration for this editorial, I was struck once again by the breadth and depth of the content. Some of the subject matter is on a recurrent theme, such as treatment of cancers. This is not surprising, as cancer is the second main cause of death after cardiovascular disease in developed countries and causes 10% of all deaths worldwide. In contrast, the articles from Andreas Greinacher and Kathleen Selleng on heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and from David Watters on primary immunodeficiency provide insights into clinical problems which do not receive much attention.

Jörg Brüggman’s article on clinical pharmacokinetics is slightly different as it addresses more basic pharmaceutical knowledge, and its application, rather than a specific disease. This is a valuable extension to the range of material this journal covers, and many will find it a useful refresher on a complex subject. This edition also carries several articles on specific areas of practice, including pharmacist prescribing in an emergency admissions unit, pharmacist participation in an infectious diseases unit, and the unique issues surrounding intravenous (IV) medicines in children. Brian Edwards, in addition to his regular column, discusses transplantation. Anna Tompa addresses wider management issues in her article on healthcare workers’ occupational exposure to carcinogens.

So once again HPE is a treasure trove of clinical, practice and healthcare-management information.

Sharing knowledge and experience is a great way to learn and makes a valuable and often unrecognised contribution to our continuing professional development. No doubt in pharmacy departments all over Europe conversations are currently taking place about an interesting prescription, pharmaceutical problem or medicine query being dealt with. Our need as professionals to network with colleagues and share experiences is evident in the plethora of special-interest groups. This edition of HPE carries three meeting reports, covering general subjects (UKCPA and ESCP) as well as the specific subject of robotics. These reports provide further evidence of the contribution networking makes to our professional development.

However, not everyone has the resources or time to attend national or international meetings, and HPE has an important role to play in sharing knowledge, practice and experience, as it brings these meetings to the reader, together with a range of articles as described above. HPE has something for everyone, and it is free!

The journal is only as good as the material it contains, and therefore we require contributions from practice. Professional practice develops as we learn from and build on each other’s experiences, but many pharmacists are reticent about publishing work they have undertaken − either through lack of time or possibly because they undervalue what they have done. However, a well-written article describing an extended role, a new way of working or the harnessing of new technology will be of interest to a wider audience. I would encourage you to consider submitting an article, as we can all learn from each other and there can be transferability even across different healthcare systems.

So rather than merely reading the journal, why not actively participate in the sharing of knowledge, practice and experience? After all, as the Irish playwright Lady Isabella Gregory once said: “There’s more learning than is taught in books.”



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