Pharmacy manager Chelsea Argent demonstrates how medications will be distributed throughout Vernon Jubilee Hospital during a tour of the new pharmacy Friday at VJH.

Hospital fills prescription for safety

New level of care at VJH means pharmacists and lab technicians will no longer be bumping elbows in the dark, crowded, dungeon-like basement

A new level of care at Vernon Jubilee Hospital means pharmacists and lab technicians will no longer be bumping elbows in the dark, crowded, dungeon-like basement.

A bright, new, expanded pharmacy has taken over the old emergency department at VJH. The $2.2 million project featuring the latest pharmaceutical equipment, will be up and running Tuesday, Sept. 22.

“We are moving from a tiny little space in the basement, built back in the 1980’s which has never received a renovation,” said Chelsea Argent, pharmacy manager.

The new pharmacy is double the size of the existing one, making room for safer medication handling which will benefit both patients and staff.

A clean IV preparation area and clean room for parental products such as chemotherapy drugs is the biggest benefit.

The old pharmacy simply didn’t have the space or technology for a proper clean room, which ensures a sterile environment.

“The patients we care for are very sick as it is and if we contaminate it we can make them even sicker,” said Argent, adding that Vernon is now one of only a few pharmacies across B.C. which meets some of the highest levels of criteria.

The clean room also provides an extra level of care for the staff who are handling dangerous medications such as chemotherapy drugs.

Much of the chemotherapy equipment was funded through the VJH Foundation’s $97,000 contribution.

The new pharmacy also features technology improvements by the way of a pneumatic tube station.

Currently, in an emergent situation when a particular drug is needed from the pharmacy, technicians run them up. But a tube system piped through the hospital now allows medications to be placed in capsules and delivered within a few minutes.

“It allows us to deliver up medications immediately to patients,” said Argent.

Nine sinks in the new department also provide added sterilization, compared to the one sink in the old pharmacy.

A narcotic safe has also been installed.

“It allows us to have much higher security and prevent drug diversion,” said Argent. “Right now we just have a room that has all the drugs in it and it just locks with a key.”

A counselling area, which was lacking in the old pharmacy, also makes the jobs of staff easier and provides patient comfort.

“It’s really difficult to provide confidential counselling and even make the patient feel comfortable and welcome.”

 

With 1,400 different medications in the building, the 30 pharmacy staff members are gaining more room to prepare medications in a more secure, clean and stable environment.

 

 

Just Posted

Vernon gym shows heart for North Okanagan Hospice

Iron Heart Gym hosts fundraiser for Hospice and the 2019 Dancing With the Vernon Stars

Spallumcheen golfer collects first-ever ace

Kay Cornish used her trusty 7-iron to score hole-in-one on tough uphill par-3 No. 7 at home course

Okanagan College Vernon campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony on July 16

Lumby Fire Department douses potential wildfire

Site was barely out of their jurisdiction, but department put out fire at request of BC Wildfire

UPDATE: B.C. Hydro explain vandalism that caused Vernon power outage

According to B.C. Hydro, around 2,400 Vernon residents were without power from 4:30- 7 p.m. Monday

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ which made its way to the home

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered Kelowna teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Most Read