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Pharmacist talking with a patient and his wife

Your Inpatient Clinical Pharmacist

Pharmacists are medication experts. Clinical pharmacists are trained to use their medication expertise and apply that knowledge to care for you while you are in the hospital.

Clinical pharmacists provide complete medication management advice to patients and other members of the care team (including physicians, nurses and others). As part of your care team, your clinical pharmacist:

  • Serves as the medication expert on your care team to help ensure that every medication is safe and effective for you every day
  • Monitors your medications as your care plan changes
  • Answers medication questions you or your family may have during your hospital stay
  • Uses evidence-based medicine to improve your treatment outcomes and quality of life
  • Provides oversight to help prevent adverse drug reactions
  • Considers medication costs
  • Helps you organize your medication routine

Your clinical pharmacist will promote medication safety and education. They can explain:

  • Side effects of new or current medications
  • How to take new medications and why you are taking them
  • How a medication is helping you
  • Medication use at home

Please tell a nurse or a member of your care team if you would like to talk to your clinical pharmacist. We are here for you.

Meet Our Clinical Teams

Across the hospital, we have pharmacists who specialize in many areas. Please click the links below to learn about our pharmacists in each specialty area.

Cardiology
Critical Care
Emergency Medicine
Infectious Diseases
Internal Medicine
Investigational
Neonatal ICU and Women's Health
Psychiatry
Solid Organ Transplant

Commonly Prescribed Medications and Medication Disposal

Read about commonly prescribed medications and their use.

Medication Disposal

Many times, the medications you are taking may change, especially after a stay at the hospital. This will leave you with medications at home that you do not need anymore. If you have medications that you are no longer taking, please dispose of them safely by bringing them to one of these designated medication drop boxes near the hospital.

Walgreens Pharmacy in Galter Pavilion
201 East Huron Street
Suite 1-210
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Walgreens Pharmacy
342 East Illinois Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
100 East Erie Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Please see Safe Medication Storage and Disposal for more information.

If you do not live near the hospital or would like to know of other locations to drop off medications, please go to cookcountymeds.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Inpatient Pharmacy Services

Pharmacists will dispense and control your medications while you are in the hospital. They will review and process every medication order. Your medications will be checked by a pharmacist for accuracy before leaving the pharmacy. Your medications will be delivered to your inpatient area from our central pharmacy location in the hospital.

We understand you may have already given this information to your physician or nurse. Pharmacists may look at medications differently than other members of your care team. You may also hear us call this your "medication history" or "medication reconciliation."

We may ask if you have:

  • Changes in the dose of your medication
  • Difficulty getting medications while you are not in the hospital
  • Help from someone else for managing your medications

We also want to double-check your medication history to make sure we have an effective treatment plan in place while you are in the hospital. We care about every medication you take every day.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved more than 20,000 medications. Every hospital must decide which of these to keep in stock. This list of in-stock medications is called the hospital formulary.

The Pharmacy team constantly reviews and changes the formulary based on these considerations:

  • New medications that become available
  • Changes in medication practices
  • Medication cost

If we do not have one of your medications, our hospital formulary likely has an alternative medication that will work in the same way. This is called a therapeutic substitution. If you have questions regarding a therapeutic substitution or taking a medication you brought from home, please ask to talk with your clinical pharmacist.

Northwestern Medicine Specialty Pharmacy

The Northwestern Medicine Specialty Pharmacy offers convenient access to your specialized medications. Our staff of pharmacists and patient care advocates work closely with your medical team to provide high-quality care for you.