SwedishAmerican builds new state-of-the-art pharmacy

After nearly 30 years in its “temporary” location, SwedishAmerican Hospital’s Pharmacy department will move to a newly constructed state-of-the-art space. The 4,800-square foot area accommodates the latest pharmacy technology and was designed to further promote patient safety and operational efficiency.

The new pharmacy, on the first floor of the hospital near the conference center, also has expanded areas to repackage all medications with a bar code to support the hospital’s bedside medication verification (BMV) project. According to E. Thomas Carey, director of pharmacy services at SwedishAmerican, “More than 70 percent of medications that we purchase from drug manufacturers contain a barcode that can be read. We repackage and barcode more than 100,000 doses of medications each month, which ultimately get distributed for patient use.

The new pharmacy also has three mobile isolation chambers (MICs). Pharmacy staff uses the 4-foot, stainless steel MIC units to compound and prepare medications in a sterile environment, which avoids contamination. The units are mobile and can be moved for use almost anywhere in the hospital in the event of a disaster or any other situation that may arise.

“The new pharmacy is modular in design, which provides us with the flexibility to physically adapt for any future changes,” according to Carey. “The modular design also optimizes our workflow. The center of the space is the focal point of the pharmacy. The multi-ply physician order sheet will be a thing of the past this summer. Orders for medications will be received in this space via a scanned copy of the order from IKON scanners located on the nursing units. After this change, we can promote that we are truly a paperless department.”

from the June 20-26, 2007, issue

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