Posted on June 26, 2018

The central pharmacy supplying Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) three new hospitals in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City is one of the most technologically-advanced hospital pharmacies in the Middle East. The pharmacy supplies medication to Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, the Women’s Wellness and Research Center, and the Ambulatory Care Center.

The three hospitals were formally opened by His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, in December 2017, and now deliver care at more than 40,000 outpatient appointments each week. Last week the new hospitals recognized a milestone, having delivered care at more than 310,000 outpatient appointments since first becoming operational.

“The central pharmacy fulfills an essential role, providing state-of-the-art storage, dispensing, and distribution of medication for a full spectrum of patient needs. This can include medication for a mother following the delivery of her baby, a patient recovering after day surgery, or a rehabilitation patient continuing their healing journey,’’ said Dr. Moza Al Hail, Executive Director of Pharmacy at HMC. The pharmacy’s advanced technology provides secure high-density storage of medications while also controlling access to a wide range of medicines. Multiple operator stations allow pharmacists to retrieve medication at the same time, with barcode technology and password-protected systems helping enhance operational efficiencies and reduce the risk of medication errors.

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In addition to ensuring safe medication storage, the technology within the central pharmacy automates the dispensing process. “An advanced feature of our system is its ability to repackage all medication into unit dose pouches. The pouches contain all the required information for safely dispensing medication and medical administration,” noted Dr. Al Hail. “The dispensing system, which includes a state-of-the-art IV robot, also eliminates many manual steps that may otherwise be required during the medication dispensing process. By doing so, the potential for error is greatly reduced,’’ Dr. Al Hail stated.

Once the medication is safely dispensed, it can be transferred manually by motor carts or automatically by a pneumatic tube system, depending on the type, quantity, and urgency. The pneumatic tube system is made up of five zones of tubes, each originating in the central pharmacy and ending in various units within the three new hospitals. The tube network supplies all inpatient wards as well as outpatient pharmacies and guarantees the fast and safe transportation of medication. “An enormous amount of time and care has been invested in the design and build of the pharmacy to ensure that we are able to not only meet the high demand that comes from supplying medication to three hospitals but to also do so in the safest, most efficient, and timely manner possible,’’ explained Dr. Al Hail.

In addition to a number of smart technologies adopted to decrease wait times and increase the time pharmacists have available to spend with patients, a number of other practices have been implemented at the Medical City Hospital’s central pharmacy to increase patient satisfaction, including a queue management system and satellite pharmacy with a dispensing robot.