Northwestern Memorial Hospital Inpatient Pharmacy Services
At Northwestern Memorial Hospital, clinical pharmacy specialists help patients throughout their stay in the hospital. They often see patients in the Emergency Department and, if admitted, continue to provide inpatient care. They also help organize post-hospital care.
These medication experts are important members of your care team. Our goal is to help you have improved health outcomes from your medication treatment.
Our pharmacists are available on-site 24 hours per day, seven days per week, for all patients in the Emergency Department as well as those admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Prentice Women’s Hospital.
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
Commonly Prescribed Medications and Medication Disposal
Pharmacists commonly provide medication education resources to patients while in the hospital. To view examples of available brochures highlighting common medications and their use, visit our medication brochures page.
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
Chicago, Illinois 60611
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
- Where do the hospital medications come from?
- Why do we ask you about your home medications?
- What is a hospital formulary?
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.