Providence Healthcare is the first hospital in Canada to implement the Beacon® Inventory Management System, a state-of-the-art automation and bar code technology system, for its new on-site retail pharmacy.
“When we first spoke about opening a retail pharmacy for our patients, staff and the surrounding community, we needed to be space conscious and wanted a system that would be quick to use and user friendly to ensure more time for customer service,” explains James Lam, Director of Clinical Services and Organizational Health for Providence. “We chose this system because it offered comprehensive automated medication inventory management for patient safety and efficiency.”
Through the use of a touch-screen display and a cordless scanner, every medication is located using a light activated system. Bright LEDs identify the correct drawer for picking or stocking medications and numeric displays specify the correct row and slot location within the storage system. Pharmacy staff use the bar code technology to scan each order, helping ensuring the right medication is dispensed for the right patient.
“With this system, we can develop the ideal inventory for our customers by tracking what and how often we are dispensing as well as what is expiring on our shelves so that we have a better idea of what we can keep in stock,” explains Sean Chai-Chong, Pharmacist for Providence’s retail pharmacy. “We have a very compact space to work in and this system allows us to maximize our workspace through high density storage.”
From inventory control to accuracy in dispensing to improved workflow efficiencies, Providence is able to provide a small, yet fully stocked pharmacy for its patients, clients and surrounding community.
“Human errors are reduced significantly compared with traditional pharmacies,” adds Lam. “It allows us to free up time for our pharmacist and technician so they can focus on patients, providing consults and additional services.”