In 2003 the Pharmacy Department underwent a major expansion and redevelopment. The main Pharmacy Dispensary is located on the ground floor towards the back of the hospital (Lift Bank D). There is also a smaller satellite pharmacy situated on the ground floor of the St Stephen’s Centre called the Kobler Pharmacy.
Over the years, we have implemented various innovative improvements in the Pharmacy Department to ensure an efficient and safe service is delivered to all of our patients and service users.
With all our pharmacy innovations we strive to ensure a positive experience for all our patients and service users at all times.
A multi-million pound robot was installed in the Pharmacy Department in May 2003 which was kindly funded by Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity. Since its installation the Pharmacy Department has seen the following benefits:
- More efficient and safer medicines dispensing process
- Reduced waiting times for outpatients
- Reduced turn-around times for discharge prescriptions for in-patients
The robot has enabled our pharmacists and technicians to spend more of their time on the wards undertaking clinical duties including advising nursing and medical staff and assisting with the discharge of patients from hospital.
Pneumatic air tubes were installed in 2003. These permit the safe and rapid delivery of medicines from the main dispensary to wards and departments throughout the hospital.
The air tubes ensure medicines are delivered to patients faster and have helped to reduce the number of visits made by healthcare professionals to the Pharmacy to collect medicines.
Electronic temperature monitoring system
An electronic means of consistently monitoring the temperature of fridges used for the storage of medicines was introduced in 2009. This system ensures that the quality of medicines requiring refrigeration is maintained to a high standard for our patients.
Technical services isolators
Two new isolator units were installed in our Technical Services Production Unit in 2009. These isolator units are closed sterile environments where we reconstitute various injections. A clean, filtered supply of air is circulated continuously within the units to ensure safe conditions for staff and a high standard of injections produced in the units.
In 2010 a web-based prescription tracking system was installed which allows us to track discharge and outpatient prescriptions. Patients are continuously updated on the turn-around times for outpatient prescriptions and ward staff are informed when patients’ discharge prescriptions have been processed.
This system allows us to monitor our dispensing performance on a daily basis thus allowing us to respond accordingly to ensure that an efficient service is provided at all times.
We have a small dedicated pharmacy team who have been involved in the development of electronic prescribing throughout the Trust since 2008. Currently the system is fully operational in all outpatient clinics and the vast majority of wards.
Electronic prescribing permits the prescribing of medicines on an electronic patient profile rather than on a paper prescription or chart. This system ensures that we provide a safer more efficient level of care to our patients due to:
- improved accessibility to previously documented clinical information for patients with long term medical conditions
- improved clarity and legibility of prescriptions thus reduced errors and misinterpretation
- more efficient compilation of prescriptions
- decision support tools integrated within the system which provide the user with:
- advice that supports correct and appropriate prescribing
- alerts that ensure potential patient risks are fully assessed (eg risk of DVT, risk of allergic reactions)