PALMER – Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers pharmacy has moved to a newly constructed 1,500-square-foot location that is specifically designed to accommodate the latest pharmacy services technology.
In the new pharmacy, located on the ground floor of the hospital, all dispensing of medications is computerized. The pharmacy is using the latest version of the Pyxis Automated dispensing system, a computer-controlled drug dispensing machine that operates similarly to a vending machine.
Alan Saunders, director of Pharmacy and Materials Management, said the new drug-dispensing system is highly accurate and safer for the patient.
“The technology allows nursing to remove only medications that are ordered for the specific patient, thereby assisting in preventing medication errors,” he said.
In addition, Wing Memorial recently installed two mobile isolation chambers (MICs) in the new pharmacy. Pharmacists use the four-foot, stainless steel MIC units to sterilize and mix medications sensitive to contamination. The MIC units protect the medications from becoming contaminated as they are being prepared, as well as protect pharmacy workers as they remove hazardous materials while mixing drugs.
“This is safer for the patient and the employee,” Saunders said. “These mobile isolation chambers provide a viable alternative to specially designed Clean Rooms, where personnel must wear gowns, hair and shoe covers, and gloves; and are not allowed to wear make-up or jewelry. This is to prevent any contamination in the room, which compromise the sterility or stability of a sterile product.”
Wing Memorial pharmacists mostly use the MIC units to mix chemotherapy medications or antibiotics. Since the units are mobile, they can be moved for use almost anywhere in the hospital, if the need arises.
Saunders said the MIC units, manufactured by Containment Technologies Group, Inc. are the latest and best in pharmaceutical sterilization technology. Although the technology has been around for some time, the MIC units used in the Wing Memorial pharmacy are much improved over their predecessors since air is not routinely filtered back into the room.
These self-contained units filter air through special HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters creating the required class 100 clean area, which is a highly sterile environment.