ePharmacy will allow pharmacists to see the dispensing history of patients from around the region while streamlining workflows and inventory management within Waikato Hospital Pharmacy itself.
It will also make it easier to identify possible interactions and allergy alerts for medicines. Having a single instance of hospital ePharmacy in each region will make it easier to ensure consistent standards for medicines management and it supports the eMedications program rollout.
Maintaining one system version will reduce the cost and effort of upgrades for district health boards and the vendors, and create economies of scale for smaller DHBs. “We made it! We got there!” said pharmacy manager Jan Goddard. “We are the first tertiary hospital to go on to a regional electronic system, and the complexity of the hospital and pharmacy service here made it a big challenge.
Goddard said the feedback from the regional project team and the software company was that the pharmacy staff were top notch in terms of training and skill.
The project was run by Healthshare, the regional collaborative services organisation that coordinates programs and initiatives in the Midland health region. The region includes Waikato, Bay Of Plenty, Lakes, Tairawhiti and Taranaki district health boards.
“The ePharmacy project is joining us up as a regional team and that will help gain pharmaceutical standardisation across the Midland health region over time,” Goddard said. To date Lakes, Tairawhiti and now Waikato DHBs are on the system. Bay Of Plenty DHB has just gone live and Taranaki is due a few weeks later.
The ePharmacy system replaces the old Galen pharmacy computer system used at Waikato Hospital and will allow the pharmacy service to be run more efficiently and productively, with better information on the use of pharmaceuticals at Waikato DHB.
The project has involved close collaboration among information services, financial and pharmacy teams across the five very different DHBs and seven hospitals within the Midland region. The end result is a system that can work for a large complex hospital like Waikato, or a smaller hospital like Taupo. Data from national pharmaceutical and medicine information will be regularly updated across all users of the ePharmacy system.
The Midland ePharmacy system is one of five regional hubs for implementing an ePharmacy system nationwide.