Dr Frank Atherton, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales visited the Royal Glamorgan Hospital on February 10 to view medicines automation and health technology at its best.

The state-of-the art technology includes ward based automated medicines storage units and mobile computers which improve medicines management from admission through to discharge.

Suzanne Scott-Thomas, chief pharmacist medicines management said: “Welsh Government has invested in pharmacy modernisation realising the benefits in improving the safety and efficiencies in Medicines processes.

“Cwm Taf HB is progressing and, in some areas, leading the innovation of managing medicines.

“We welcome the opportunity to show how we are starting to join up these systems across all areas of healthcare to provide integrated medicines and pharmaceutical care for our patients.”

Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Wales, Andrew Evans,  accompanied Dr Atherton on the visit to observe the medicines process from procurement in pharmacy to the supply to patients on discharge, in operation.

The pharmacy automated dispensing system (robot), reduces dispensing errors and has improved pharmacy skill mix, resulting in more time delivering clinical services on the wards.

The visit was extended to the intensive care unit to view the automated storage cabinets which as well as improving stock control and reducing stock holdings, eliminate the picking errors associated with similar looking and sounding medicines, thus enhancing patient safety.  They provide a complete audit trail of medicine/patient/time and date and will complement the forthcoming electronic prescribing and medicines administration system.

Our visitors then witnessed the real benefits that can be delivered through technology to improve patient safety.

The electronic medicines management system allows front line staff timely access to GP records when patients are admitted to hospital, resulting in fewer medication errors.

The provision of electronic Discharge Advice Letters (eDAL) has improved the quality of discharge information provided to patients, GPs and community pharmacists.

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