Thank you to everyone who has responded to our summer direct mail letter to raise funds for new Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADCs) at WDMH. Our Foundation staff are working hard to bring this new system to WDMH. This is a big project that consists of five Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADCs), a pill packager and a computer to support them. We’re excited to tell you more.
Here is a bit more information about this new technology for WDMH.
What are Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADCs)?
Automated Dispensing Cabinets - or ADCs - are part computer/part robot and ensure the right drug or drugs are dispensed to the right patient at the right time. They are like a vending machine that dispenses pre-packaged medication. Only one medication drawer can be unlocked at a time – both when stocking the machine and when a nurse is getting a patient’s medication. This simplifies the process and increases patient safety.
At WDMH, delivering 150,000 medications to patients each year is the most complex thing we do. With such a high-volume, repetitive and labour-intensive process, it's prone to errors. ADCs replace the old ‘night cupboard’ where medication is stored when the Pharmacy is closed. It is close to 40 years old!
Our old cupboard and system are inefficient and leave room for human error when choosing and counting medications. Nurses can access all of the medication at once, with a risk of accidentally taking the wrong medication or the wrong dose.
What is wrong with the night cupboard?
The night cupboard has many challenges:
§ There is no way to track who used the cupboard or what medications were used.
§ Staff can make mistakes if they read the legends wrong, possibly selecting the wrong medication.
§ The cupboards aren’t big enough to hold all of the required medications.
§ The cupboards have no electronic capabilities, meaning pharmacy staff spend significant time counting individual medications.
What are the benefits of the ADCs?
The ADCs have many benefits:
§ Each staff member will have a unique code to sign into the cabinet.
§ The ADC will alert nurses if there are allergy concerns.
§ Only one medication can be dispensed at a time because all other drawers remain locked. This results in safer inventory control.
§ Nurses can access new medications for new patients quickly.
§ Narcotics and other controlled drugs are more secure.
§ ADCs can be easily upgraded and serviced, resulting in cost savings.
How can I help?
The ADCs are WDMH’s highest priority equipment need this year. This system will improve patient safety and is the first step in ensuring that WDMH complies with new standards. Our current practices and equipment (which is almost 40 years old!) won’t.
WDMH needs five ADC units as well as a medication packing machine. The total costs is about $400,000. Did you know that the provincial government does not fund ongoing hospital equipment purchases? That’s where the Foundation and our generous community come in.
§ Learn more by reading a letter from our Pharmacy Manager, Joanne Leclair
If you would like to support this project, there are three ways to do so:
§ Please download and print a donation form
§ Please call the Foundation Office at 613-774-2422 ext. 6162
§ Please visit www.canadahelps.org and choose the WDMH Foundation's General Equipment Fund
Thank you for your support!
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