Pharmacy staff respond to a challenge
|It was the sort of challenge pharmacy staff take in their stride but three months on from the opening of the new cytotoxic compounding unit at Waikato Hospital, Dr John Barnard and Jan Goddard realise what an outstanding job staff did in such a short timeframe.
Dr Barnard, is clinical director of pharmacy and a consultant anaesthetist and Ms Goddard the pharmacy manager at Waikato District Health Board. With the current contract ending on 29 October last year, Baxter Healthcare gave notice of withdrawal of their on-site compounding service from the hospital.
The Auckland company had for more than 10 years compounded the cytotoxic medicines on site from base ingredients for the treatment of cancer.
For the pharmacy to take co-ordination of the service from Waikato over and have it running smoothly from day one was always going to be a big ask, said Ms Goddard.
“We have a completely new process, new prescribing timeframes and changed patient flow.
“This has seen a huge change to process for pharmacy, nursing and medical staff,” she said.
“Everything has gone so smoothly given the flow of work through this unit and the dedication that everyone has shown to make this happen,” said Dr Barnard.
The unit reopened on 2 April in B2 of the Lomas Building (Regional Cancer Centre).
Staff have since clinically checked, ordered, receipted, dispensed then claimed 4620 compounded products in the three months, as well as made 35 products from scratch.
Around nine pharmacy staff including four pharmacy technicians, four pharmacists and one dispensary team leader with back up support from rotational clinical pharmacist, clinical team leader and manager, have been pulled into making the large undertaking look easy. Four additional staff were funded for this work, but it is a whole pharmacy team approach.
Health Waikato chief operating officer Jan Adams said the tight timeframes required team work and dedication.
“They had that in abundance. I would like to acknowledge the work Jan Goddard and her team did but must also mention Virginia Endres in the Programme Management Office who project managed this.
“It could have very easily fallen over, which would have been a disaster - but we made sure all processes were in place and staff all pulled together to keep things running smoothly. So for that I thank everyone,” said Mrs Adams.
The Cytotoxic Compounding Unit on a daily basis works with:
Having a compounding unit on site also allows for more flexibility and increases the competency and technical skills of pharmacy staff on site.
- Chemotherapy outpatient nursing staff
- Ward 25 oncology ward nursing staff
- Oncologists/haematologists and their clinical directors/registrars
- Administration and accounting staff.
The area where the compounding takes place has to meet strict compounding and facility requirements.
The pharmacy facilitates the scheduling, ordering, receipting, dispensing and delivery of all cytotoxic products, and provides a limited onsite cytotoxic compounding service for short expiry, urgent and some clinical trial products.
More information on http://www.waikatodhb.govt.nz/page/pageid/2145876151
Chief Operating Officer
Dr John Barnard
Date: 11 July 2012
Contact:Mary Anne Gill
Waikato District Health Board
021 705 213