Friday, 23 March 2012

Fast Access For Patients In Leicester

By Ben Aulakh

Patients at Leicester’s Hospitals are benefiting from a new service which gives them quick access to the medicines they need to take home.

A new satellite dispensary, based on one of the wards at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, can equip patients on the musculoskeletal and surgical units with the vital medicines they need when being discharged.

The dispensary is integrated within ward 8 of the hospital, giving patients faster access to their medication, allowing them to be discharged much sooner than before.

Previously all prescriptions had to travel down to one of the buildings two main pharmacies on the ground floor, be dispensed, and then travel back up to the ward  

Susan Wills, principal pharmacist in surgery at Leicester’s Hospitals says the new system is much faster.

“Our initial figures show that 65 per cent of take home medications are ready within 40 minutes and we are dispensing almost 300 items a week.

“We are hoping to improve on these figures as the dispensary becomes more established.”

The initiative will also increase the amount of time the surgical and musculoskeletal pharmacy teams can spend with patients, giving greater scope to counsel them about their medicines, to improved compliance.

Susan added, “We already have satellite dispensaries in other areas across our hospitals which have improved discharge by reducing waits.”

Ward staff can also electronically track the progress of the patient’s take-home medicine, once it has been sent to pharmacy, to avoid unnecessary phone calls which could interrupt the dispensing process.

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