Technology in new outpatient pharmacy enables Pharmacists to focus more on patient needs

Posted by Communications Team on 1 February 2017 |

Pharmacy

Haumanu, which means to revive or restore health and wellbeing, is the name of our new pharmacy which will open at Paataka Place at Middlemore Hospital on 7 February.  The approach taken by the new pharmacy is to have pharmacists always accessible to focus on patient interaction and to achieve this, the pharmacy is utilising some cool technology for behind the scene functions.

The pharmacy will stock an extensive range of health and wellbeing products and aims to provide a safer, faster and more convenient service. It will cater for both patients who need specialist medications as well as general pharmacy services, and provide health and wellbeing services for their visiting whanau, and a convenient option for staff.

One of the most exciting aspects of the new pharmacy is the use of robotics to make dispensing more efficient and safer.

Two pieces of automation are being introduced; one which will pick medication based on what is prescribed automatically and dispense it, all while minimising any faults involved in the process. The second robot will help pharmacists and technicians provide a faster service by counting pills and generating a label with barcode scanning technology to maximise safety in the prescription filling process.

While the technology has been used in different settings, it is the first time they have been bought together in this manner in a community pharmacy environment in New Zealand.

Part of the objective is about supporting our patient’s to have easy access their medication if they have received a prescription on discharge.  Sometimes we know it’s hard for our patients to go through the discharge process and then reconnect with a pharmacy after they go home.  The convenient location of Haumanu Pharmacy situated next to the discharge lounge is an added advantage.

Using robotics within the pharmacy means we’ll be able to provide a more seamless process so our staff can focus more of their time helping people understand the their medication and how it will benefit their health and offer practical advice.

Pharmacy staff will be able to directly liaise with prescribers should patients have any queries with their medications down at the pharmacy.

There will also be a loyalty programme for all purchases made by Counties Manukau Health staff.   The programme will include a rewards system and a staff discount on purchases made at Haumanu Pharmacy.

Trading hours have also been designed to focus on patient needs, opening seven days a week from Monday to Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday to Sunday from 9am-6pm, including public holidays.

Mary Johnson, Haumanu Pharmacy Manager
Sanjoy Nand, Pharmacy Service Manager