Richmond Hospital has launched an innovative program in the Emergency Department (ED) to help improve patient care.
The new program, the ED Pharmacy Technician program, was created to help improve patient care at the ED by creating an accurate medication list for patients.
This program involves interviewing ED patients about what medications they are taking and how they take them.
“It’s about providing safer care,” says Mark Wu, the medication safety pharmacist at Richmond Hospital and coordinator of the project. “We need to ask you questions like how you take your medications to help ensure that they are accurately assessed and ordered as appropriate to prevent unintended changes and omissions.”
Staff conducting these interviews are regulated pharmacy technicians. One of those pharmacy technicians is Gurvinder Helena Kaushal who has been with the program for about a month. She believes the work being done has been very effective.
“With most of the patients, there is a discrepancy between what was originally prescribed and how they are actually taking the medication,” says Gurvinder who does about 15 to 20 interviews each shift.
“So when we go through the interview, we note those changes so the doctor is able to have a clearer picture of what the patient is taking and determine if those medications contributed to the admission.”
A recently completed audit found that 86 per cent of ED patients are now receiving comprehensive medication interviews. Before the ED Pharmacy Techncian program, interviews were completed about 50 per cent of the time.
Gurvinder says she loves her job for two reasons.
“The best part is knowing I am making a difference in somebody’s health care,” she says. “It is nice to know you are making an impact on their visit, on their stay and helping the patient get treated properly and accurately. Also, the patients are very appreciative when being interviewed as they feel someone is coming to discuss their health one-on-one and helping them on their road to recovery.”