The Pharmacy Department at Heart Hospital has taken the initiative to implement Automated Medication dispensing Cabinets (Pyxis ®) as part of department’s vision ”To be world class centre of excellence for providing comprehensive pharmaceutical care that is supported by evidence, research and life long learning to meet Qatar’s vision 2030”. Thus, the Heart Hospital is the first hospital in Qatar to implement this advanced drug dispensing system.
“I’m very proud of the Automated Medication dispensing Cabinets system as the first of it’s kind in Qatar. This system achieves global standards and paves the way towards the hospitals’ accreditation by Joint Commission International (JCI). I would like to thank Dr.Manal Zaidan and her team for this impressive and great achievement and I would like to invite other hospitals to share the heart hospital’s experience” Mr. Mahmoud Al Raisi, the Executive Director, Heart Hospital said.
“The system initially started on May 2011 to cover some OPD services like the radiology and it was extended to the inpatients on September 2011 in coincidence with the opening of Heart Hospital and transferring patients from Hamad General Hospital to it. The planning for this new technology has been started long time before inaugurating the heart hospital. The most important reason for success is that Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Information Systems teams have worked as one team since planning till the complete integration” Dr. Manal Zaidan Pharmacy Director at Heart Hospital said, adding that this new technology allowed pharmacists and nurses to spend more time in providing direct patient care and shifting pharmacists’ role to more clinical oriented tasks like interpreting laboratory values related to certain medications, detecting and correcting drug therapy related problems, such as drug-to-drug interactions and wrong doses of medications, and educating patients on the safe and effective use of medications.
Dr. Zaidan concluded her speech thanking the Heart Hospital’s administration, led by Mr. Mahmoud Saleh Al Raisi, for their limitless support towards the success of this vital project.
Health Information System (HIS) played a major role in operating the system and linking it with the Pharmacy information systems the hospital already use and as well the patient admission system. The Automated Medication dispensing Cabinets are distributed in every inpatient unit like the general cardiology wards, catheterization labs and operation theaters.
The most important advantage of this technology is reducing medication errors, as the technology allows the nurse to collect medications specifically for his/her patient after the pharmacist’s approval. This ensures an increased safety as patients get specific doses of a selected medication at their specified timing of administration.
Another advantage is that this system will reduce the time spent to get the medications from the main pharmacy as they are made available in the cabinets located close to patients’ rooms, thing that guarantees the prompt, easy and safe acquisition of the medications, especially in emergency cases.
“The system has an add on product that deals with dispensing narcotics and controlled substances, CIISafe is used to store these specified medications in the pharmacy and allows distribution to different nursing units located around the hospital to be stored and taken as needed from the cabinets directly after pharmacist verification” Pharmacist Fatima Rustom, System Manager , Heart Hospital Said.
“The restocking process of the cabinets is performed by pharmacy technicians, Barcode technology (PARx) is another add on product in automation series that is used to comply with the necessary steps to perform the restocking process in an automated way to eliminate possible human blunders” Pharmacist Fatima Rustom added.
“The Heart Hospital is pioneer in introducing and using this system in Qatar. This system showed cost effectiveness in terms of reduction in medication errors and delay of medications to reach patients as well as to reduce need of large number of pharmacy technicians” Mr. Mohamed Al Naama, Assistant Executive Director, Heart Hospital.
In addition to anesthesiology technicians and respiratory therapists, Nurses also use this system. “I have used the Drugs Automated Dispensing system for many years in USA and I’m so happy to see this system, which meets the vision of Pharmacy Department, is applied here in Qatar. This system provides faster and safer service in delivering medications to the patients. The technology assures that what the medications prescribed by the physician is the proper one ordered by the physician” Ms. Linda Peters, Assistant Executive Director of Nursing Department, Heart Hospital said.
As nurses are the major users of the system, their feedback is valuable to evaluate and monitor the system. An online survey Monkey was done to evaluate the satisfaction among Heart Hospital nurses of the system. Of over 300 nurses, 283 participated in the survey. 95% were satisfied with the system. Seventy one percent agreed that the amount of time spent from a prescription is written, sent to pharmacy and it is availability in the system is acceptable. Answering if the system allows them to perform their jobs more safely, 93% agreed to that point.
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