Unit-Dose Medication Picking Station
In March 2012, St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley, Illinois, undertook a total renovation of our pharmacy. The success of this project was predicated on thoughtful, upfront design considerations. The design for the unit-dose picking station was developed to optimize workflow and ensure a seamless daily cart fill process. The mobile cart in the center of the room contains all the patient trays for the 24-hour drug exchange, and can be moved as needed to ensure ease of use. The pull-out drawers under the countertop are used to store injectable medications; a second row of pull-out drawers can be added should expansion become necessary.
Compounding and Controlled Drug Storage Area
Our vendor worked with us to design a compounding and controlled drug storage area that allows for sufficient storage of all controlled drugs. Dual-locking drawers provide security for controlled substances. We also built in extra space for locking up expired medications, as well as to ensure ample room for future expansion.
Compounding Area Counter Top
Our main considerations for choosing a counter top for the compounding area were quality and durability, but we also wanted an aesthetically pleasing work area. The numerous choices available from our vendor—including a plethora of colors and textural components—ensured our compounding area was both functional and attractive. Moreover, the modern, work-conducive design has improved staff morale.
Pharmacy Order Entry Area
The main order entry area was designed to ensure a smooth workflow for our order entry pharmacist. The area includes a spacious workspace with pull-out, under-the-counter keyboards for order entry. The slide-out printer drawer is located near the pharmacist’s seating area so that CPOE orders from the floor are easily available for verification.
Pharmacy Receiving Area
The pharmacy receiving area is located in a quiet area, separate from the main pharmacy. It was important to provide our technicians space that was conducive to signing in and bar coding drug orders as they are received.
Outpatient Pharmacy Area
St. Margaret’s outpatient pharmacy primarily fills prescriptions for employees and hospice patients; this photo shows our separate inventory for this process. Our casework vendor was able to provide high-quality products, including gravity feed shelving for prescription bottles and a slide-out shelf for our printer, which can be pulled out for easy maintenance. Below the window, we configured organized shelving that allows alphabetical storage of all prescriptions for pick up in convenient pullout drawers. The wide variety of shelving options allowed us to streamline storage of filled prescriptions for easy dispensing to employees and the hospice nurse.
By Michael Terry Arkins, RPh, Director of Pharmacy, St. Margaret’s Hospital, Spring Valley, Illinois.
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