UPPER Bann MP David Simpson visited Craigavon Area Hospital recently to understand more about the key role technology is playing in driving patient safety standards.
The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has, in recent years, harnessed and invested in cutting-edge technology to manage medication administration. These automated systems reduce the risk of medication errors and free-up healthcare professionals to spend more time on face-to-face patient care.
The visit comes after the Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre reported that of the 2.5 million doses administered in the average acute hospital, there were an estimated 215,000 errors. These cause serious issues for patient safety, but also place a significant cost burden on an already stretched NHS.
The Department of Health in Northern Ireland has announced a new strategy to improve medication safety known as Quality 2020, which is a 10-year plan to protect Health and Social Care services in NI and support medication safety within primary and secondary care.
At the visit, Dr Tracey Boyce, Director of Pharmacy at Craigavon Area Hospital, demonstrated the benefit of the Trust’s decision to invest in a series of Omnicell systems which automate the administration of medication.
This new approach allows Trusts to track everything back to the patient from the moment the medication is prescribed to when it is administered, ensuring patient safety.
Mr Simpson said: “It’s great to see that Craigavon Hospital is leading the way in Northern Ireland by using the latest technology to deliver high quality standards of care to patients. It was interesting to hear how these systems are helping to reduce the risk of medication errors and free up nursing time so they have more time at the patient bedside.”
Paul O’Hanlon, Managing Director of Omnicell UK & Ireland, who facilitated the visit, added: “It’s great to see that David is here to see at first-hand how important it is to invest in new technology. Medicine and nursing is a safety critical industry - behind every statistic is someone’s life, it is always someone’s son, someone’s father, someone’s daughter.”