EPACT – The AlliancE for the digitalisation of hosPitAls medication management pathways

Sponsor: Becton Dickinson
Project Status: ONGOING (February 2022)

What aims and scope

The EPACT project aims to develop solutions to reduce patient and health professional harm from medication errors and increase healthcare professional well-being by reducing the administrative burden of their workload within the medication management pathways of hospital settings. These solutions include the use of technology and automation to minimize manual input and errors, as well as the development of best practices and guidelines to standardize medication management processes across different hospital settings.

How it will become possible 

To advocate for investments in the digital infrastructure most needed to modernise medication management pathways in hospital settings, an Alliance of 24 NGOs representing patients, healthcare professionals and industry was created in 2022 under the leadership of EHMA. In the first year of activities, the Alliance published a white paper and lately a position paper on the proposed Regulation for a European Health Data Space (EHDS) emphasising the need to include medication treatment data from across the continuum of care in the Data Space. The Alliance advocates towards the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Medicines Agency on the key EU funding and policy opportunities to modernise hospitals’ medication management processes and systems in the EHDS, including the upcoming revised Pharmaceutical legislation, and the new EMA mandate for medication shortages. In 2023, the Alliance will publish a manager’s guide with a clear roadmap on how to digitalise hospitals’ medication management pathways and carry out research concerning medication shortages in hospitals.

Where EHMA delivers 

To date, EHMA has delivered a white paper, a position paper on the European Health Data Space (EHDS) Regulation – accompanied by a clarification of the ‘pharmacy’ definition, co-organised a webinar for World Patient Safety Day 2022, an event at the European Parliament and represented the Alliances position at the recent WHO Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety.

In 2023 EHMA will support the Alliance’s research on the capacity of hospitals to digitally collect and share medication data and produce a ‘How To’ managers guide to modernise their medication management pathway. Additionally, a series of three webinars will be delivered to disseminate the manager’s guide, the research results and explore EU funding programme opportunities to modernise hospitals’ medication management systems.


Medication is the main part of the therapeutic process for hospital patients and the second highest spending chapter for health budgets. At any time, hospitals stock more than 200 medications. The medication management pathway of a hospital is complex and involves several activities including ordering, reception, storing, prescription, compounding, distribution, and dispensing /administration of medicines.

The availability and safety of medication in hospitals depend on a multidisciplinary team also involving, among others, health managers whose responsibilities include procuring, managing, and prescribing stock, ensuring effective systems and policies to promote medication safety, preventing medication errors or adverse effects, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Health managers play an important role to promote patient safety and quality of care in hospitals’ medication management pathways. Medication errors and lack of visibility of medication supplies are significant burdens for the health management community. One medication error can extend a patient’s admission by 4 days and cost €3,000. Where medication shortages arise health professionals’ workloads increase by up to 5 hours per week.

Modernising hospitals’ medication management pathways can:

  • reduce harm to patients and professionals from medication errors;
  • reduce and better manage health professionals’ workloads;
  • result in cost savings in pharmaceutical and care budgets.


What our Members say

I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy

Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.

Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.

Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain