Pharmacy Department uses innovative digital technology to deliver excellence

Posted on Tue, 07/05/2019

Over the last 3 years Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust has rapidly deployed a fully integrated digitalised medicines system across the organisation.

The digital transformation has included a state-of-the-art electronic prescribing system, automated drug cabinets and a pharmacy robot all interfaced to provide industry leading levels of service.  

Essential to the success and speed of this transformation has been the creation of a dedicated stand-alone Medicines Systems Team responsible for the deployment and maintenance of, and ongoing training for, the digital systems. The team consists of three registered Pharmacy Technicians who are specialists in individual systems, but their shared experience and knowledge of all systems ensures the continued delivery of high quality services.

Neil Gammack, Chief Pharmacist said “We are fortunate as a Pharmacy department, and as a Trust, to have access to some of the most advanced technologies available. However, these digital tools alone will only deliver partial gains. The way that the Medicines Systems Team has fully integrated each of them across the entire Trust has brought truly exceptional levels of effectiveness and safety to our patients”.

The introduction of electronic prescribing through the JAC® Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration system brings many benefits including improved patient safety by further minimising the chance of medication errors and omitted doses.

The Omnicell® Automated Drug Cabinets have the ability the monitor stock levels in real time and re-order drugs before they run out or go past their use by date. The cabinets have also allowed the team to minimise waste by removing stock that is never used or has been replaced by newer and more effective treatments.

Andrea Adams, Digital Transformation Programme Lead said “The Medicines Systems Team have maximised the use of the technology available to them to produce a fully integrated system that has brought real benefits to patients across the Trust”.

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