Patient Care


Department of Clinical Pharmacy pharmacist faculty members care for the medication needs of patients in many health care settings. In addition, they innovate and evaluate new models of pharmacy care. And because the department’s practicing pharmacists are academicians, their patient care and research responsibilities go hand in hand.

These clinicians draw on their patient care expertise to develop better ways of delivering care, while rigorously and routinely evaluating the effectiveness of new approaches. The ultimate goal is to promote improved, evidence-based ways of caring for the medication needs of patients.

Pharmacy practice settings

Acute and ambulatory care settings

Department faculty pharmacists practice in acute care hospitals and ambulatory care settings with UCSF Health as well as in hospitals, clinics, community pharmacies, and physician group practices throughout California.

Beyond traditional settings

The department’s faculty pharmacists also practice in unique settings, often with the goal of studying new models of efficient, effective patient care.

Medication therapy management

Faculty pharmacists regularly apply medication therapy management (MTM), working with individual patients and their physicians and families toward a safe, effective, and cost-conscious medication therapy plan. In MTM, the pharmacist:

  • Reviews the patient’s medication therapy
    Collects patient-specific information; assesses medication therapy for appropriateness
  • Creates a personal medication record
    Assembles a comprehensive record of the patient’s medications (including prescription and non-prescription drugs, herbal products, and other dietary supplements)
  • Creates a medication-related action plan
    Develops a list of medication-related actions for the patient to use in tracking progress for self-management
  • Intervenes and/or refers
    Consults and intervenes to address medication-related problems; provides referrals as necessary
  • Documents care and conducts follow-up
    Consistently documents and tracks MTM services

With the increasing complexity and cost of medications, the increase in chronic diseases can require long-term drug treatment, and evolving knowledge regarding individualized genetic response, pharmacist-directed MTM is more important than ever.

Clinical specialties

Department of Clinical Pharmacy faculty pharmacists, specialty areas:

  • Adverse drug effects
  • Alternative medicine
  • Ambulatory care
  • Ambulatory care pharmacy practice
  • Anti-viral and antimalarial drugs
  • Antibiotic management
  • Anticoagulation
  • Asthma
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Cancer
  • Cardiology
  • Clinical nutrition support
  • Clinical pharmacokinetics
  • Community pharmacy practice
  • Critical care
  • Diabetes
  • Dietary supplements
  • Disease prevention
  • Doping control in sports
  • Drug design
  • Drug information
  • Drug interactions
  • Drug safety
  • Drug testing
  • Economics
  • Endocrinology
  • Epidemiology
  • Epilepsy
  • Evidence-based pharmacotherapy
  • Family practice
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genetic testing
  • Geriatrics
  • Health policy
  • Health promotion
  • Hematology
  • HIV antiretroviral therapy adherence
  • Hypertension
  • Infectious diseases
  • Integrative and complementary therapies
  • Malaria and HIV co-infection
  • Managed care
  • Managed care pharmacy
  • Medicare outreach
  • Medicare Part D
  • Medication management
  • Neurology
  • Obesity
  • Oncology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Pediatrics
  • Pharmaceutical compounding
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Poison control system management
  • Poison control
  • Primary care
  • Psychiatry
  • Targeted therapies
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Toxicology
  • Women’s health

UCSF Health partnership

The Department of Clinical Pharmacy and UCSF Health Enterprise have worked together for decades to improve the care of patients. What began as a shared experiment in care on the ninth floor of UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, has now expanded to a shared commitment to improve pharmacy care in all practice settings.

This partnership of department faculty pharmacists, medical center pharmacists, and administrators began in the 1960s as together they succeeded in placing a satellite pharmacy directly on a UCSF Health patient floor. From there, floor-based pharmacists not only filled orders and prepared admixtures close to the point of care, they also became direct drug therapy consultants to bedside practitioners.

This was a radical departure from the traditional system of nurses obtaining drugs from a central hospital pharmacy located many floors away from patients.

The result was a new kind of pharmacist in acute care, and eventually in ambulatory clinic settings, a pharmacist who:

  • Was an expert in the safe and effective use of medications
  • Engaged the patient and considered the patient’s health status and life circumstances in medication therapy
  • Worked collaboratively as an integral member of the health care team

Today, many Department of Clinical Pharmacy faculty pharmacists practice in UCSF Health, and many UCSF Health pharmacists hold volunteer faculty positions in the department. Together they deliver pharmacy care to patients, create new models of care, teach the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy students, and demonstrate the power of collaboration.

California Senate Bill 493

In California, the pharmacist’s scope of practice was expanded in October 2013, with passage into law of Senate Bill 493, which states that “pharmacists are health care providers who have the authority to provide health care services.” This sets the stage for the development of wholly new models of care provided by pharmacists and innovative approaches to pharmacy education.

The UCSF School of Pharmacy welcomes this opportunity to help lead a transformation of pharmacy practice, equipped with the superior clinical and research expertise of its Department of Clinical Pharmacy faculty and in partnership with UCSF Health, professional organizations, retail pharmacies, and others.