Spotlight on safety

2016-09-20 06:00
Some of the pharmacy team at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Kenilworth celebrate creating awareness about the safe use of medicines, are, from left, Ghalieb Samuels (stores assistant), Paul Voigt (senior pharmacist), Shawn Harrison (pharmacy stock controller), Dawn Rottanburg (pharmacy manager) and Randall Ficks (pharmacy stock controller).

Some of the pharmacy team at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Kenilworth celebrate creating awareness about the safe use of medicines, are, from left, Ghalieb Samuels (stores assistant), Paul Voigt (senior pharmacist), Shawn Harrison (pharmacy stock controller), Dawn Rottanburg (pharmacy manager) and Randall Ficks (pharmacy stock controller).

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The safe use of medicines came under the spotlight when Life Kingsbury Hospital in Kenilworth celebrated National Pharmacy Week from Monday 5 to Sunday 11 September.

“Medicines play an important role in preventing and treating illnesses,” says Dawn Rottanburg, pharmacy manager at the facility. “However, if not used properly, medicines can cause harm and that’s why it’s important that both patients and healthcare professionals take responsibility for using medication safely.”

During Pharmacy Week the facility created awareness in using medication safely by recommending that people firstly understand why they are taking the medicine and should also know how and when to take it.

“It is also advised that you tell your pharmacist about any allergy you may have and any other medicine that you are taking. You should always ask your pharmacist if you are unsure about anything regarding their medicine and be sure to ask for information about common side effects to expect when taking the medicine. Safety information in relation to storage and then disposal of unused or expired medication is also important,” she says.

Aligned to the theme is a “traffic light” poster campaign which highlights the three traffic light colours to signal different aspects of ensuring medication is used safely.

Pharmacists have always played a pivotal role in the procurement, supply and management of medication in our hospitals, leading cost containment of pharmaceuticals and sustainable healthcare. Their contribution is critical in ensuring safe medication use, significantly contributing to the provision of quality patient care and optimal outcomes.

Hospital pharmacy has also evolved over the past decade from mainly being dispensary based to where pharmacy services are becoming available at ward level and at the patient’s bedside. This has created a platform for pharmacists to directly provide their knowledge and expertise on medication.

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