The Pharmacy Department at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Heart Hospital and the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) marked the successful implementation of its five-year-strategy and highlighted key staff accomplishments at a celebratory event held this week.
Under the strategy, between 2009 and 2014, the department introduced a number of new and enhanced practices with the aim of providing comprehensive pharmaceutical care to patients at both hospitals.
The event was attended by senior leaders and pharmacy staff from NCCCR and Heart Hospital, Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and the Supreme Council of Health (SCH). Faculty members from Qatar University’s (QU) College of Pharmacy and College of the North Atlantic – Qatar (CNA-Q) were also present on the occasion.
Dr. Manal Zaidan, Director of Pharmacy for Heart Hospital and NCCCR stated: “We are proud to announce the successful completion of the five-year strategy, which has been made possible due to the dedicated efforts of not only the staff at the Pharmacy Department but also many other departments and the senior management at HMC.”
“The main aim of the strategy was to support the provision of the safest, most effective and most compassionate care to our patients and has resulted in significant improvements in pharmacy practices in the hospitals. Research in key areas, such as staff recruitment and assessment, patient safety, ambulatory care pharmacy practice, staff participation in research and academic opportunities, and automation and technology have also led to significant improvements,” Dr. Zaidan noted.
The event showcased the most significant achievements by the Pharmacy Department, such as the implementation of automated medication dispensing cabinets at the two hospitals. The state-of-the-art cabinets are accessed by nurses who can simply choose the patient from the system allowing the specific medication pocket to open. The department has also adopted the use of repacking machines for unit doses of medications. These allow pharmacists to pack each tablet with necessary information, such as name of the medication and expiry dates.
The layout of the pharmacy at the outpatient departments in both hospitals has also been modified to provide the required support to patients, with the availability of a pharmacist to each patient. When dispensing the medication, the pharmacist can intervene on behalf of the patient to confirm the dosage with the physicians, as well as educate the patients if anything is unclear. Patients who are required to pay for medication have the ease of paying at the cashier located within the pharmacy.
In addition, a computerized physician order entry system has been incorporated at Heart Hospital that allows physicians to provide electronic prescriptions instead of the traditional hard-copy prescriptions.
Smart-infusion pumps have also been partially implemented at the hospital. It will incorporate a system where a bar-code scanner identifies the patient, medication, and the infusion pump.
Earlier in 2014, pharmacist-led anti-coagulation (anti-clotting) clinics were also established at Heart Hospital, making it easier for patients requiring medications to prevent blood-clotting to collect their required dosage. The clinics are designed to be a ’one stop shop’ where pharmacists assess the patients, perform the required test, educate, and dispense medications within the clinic.
The role of pharmacists has also been extended to promote the idea of integrated-care practice. Pharmacists assist physicians and nurses at the cardiac rehabilitation unit, as well as the heart failure clinic at Heart Hospital to manage and educate patients on the proper use of medications.
The event also stressed the importance of educational and research initiatives taken by the department as pharmacy staff from HMC, Qatar University and the College of North Atlantic - Qatar presented some of their collaborative research and academic endeavors.
Awards for excellent performance and acknowledgement certificates were also presented to staff to recognize their efforts for supporting the strategy.