Irish Hospital Pharmacy in the Dark Ages threatens patient safety
Friday 19th April 2013
Automation and IT systems in Irish hospital pharmacies lag well behind other European countries, leaving Irish patients at a disadvantage when it comes to safety. Software is a very outdated DOS-based system, which carries a risk of losing valuable patient medication records and financial information.
The president of the Hospital Pharmacists’ Association of Ireland (HPAI) Deirdre Lynch, today called on the Department of Health and HSE to work with the organisation to develop a national strategy for hospital pharmacy. She went on to say: “Ireland promotes itself as being a leading country in software development. It is not acceptable that patient safety is compromised by such antiquated systems.”
Her call arises from the publication of a national baseline survey on hospital pharmacy by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (the pharmacy regulator). "This report paints a very grim picture of Irish hospital pharmacy" said Ms Lynch.
“Modern IT systems greatly enhance patient safety by using barcode technology and electronic prescribing rather than handwriting. This helps to reduce mistakes and improves record keeping. They also provide better financial information so that we can manage precious resources better” she said.
The report describes Irish hospital pharmacies as unfit for purpose. Researchers found that premises were "small, cramped” and “outdated for the services they provide”.
This was the first ever independent survey of Irish Hospital Pharmacy. Ms Lynch thanked the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland for conducting the survey, commenting that it “yielded valuable information and should provide food for thought for the Department of Health and HSE”.
The results of this survey are one of the main agenda items at the HPAI’s annual conference which takes place this weekend in Dublin.
For further information, please contact Eileen Butler at hpaisec @ gmail.com