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SBGHC's focus on safe medication practice is ramping up as the organization prepares to implement an automated medication dispensing system and introduce unit dose medication packaging this fall. This leading edge technology will reduce medication errors and increase the accuracy and efficiency of medication delivery. 


According to the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, medication incidents are one of the leading causes of patient safety harm in health care.  “The safety of our patients is our top priority,” says Paul Rosebush, SBGHC President and CEO. “The sophistication of this technology will greatly reduce the potential for error.”   


The new medication delivery system will include secure, electronic medication cabinets and carts, connected to SBGHC’s electronic medical records.  When medication is to be administered to a patient, the healthcare provider will access the patient’s electronic medication administration record (e-MAR) from the computer located on the cabinet. The medication to be administered will be selected, and the correct dose, in unit dose packaging, will be dispensed.  Only the drawer containing the selected medication will be opened, and all activity will be tracked.


The unit dose medication packager was installed earlier this week in the Pharmacy at SBGHC’s Kincardine site, the organization’s central Pharmacy that supplies the other sites. 


In the coming months, the medication cabinets and carts will be installed at each of the sites and staff will be trained on the new system.  Implementation is scheduled for November 2014.



Pharmacy Technician, Amy Dunlop, packaging medications in unit dose.  Medications are packaged in clearly labeled, convenient pouches that are barcoded to monitor expiry dates, ensure accuracy and enable tracking.



(L-R): Susan Drummond (Pharmacy Technician), Amy Dunlop (Pharmacy Technician) and Taralee Elzinga (Pharmacist) with the medication packager




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