Janet Harding was like a proud parent as she toured media and dignitaries through a new state-of-the art hospital pharmacy at Royal University Hospital for the grand opening on November 13.

Janet Harding, director of pharmacy services, left, and Maura Davies, Saskatoon Health Region president and CEO, symbolically opened the new hospital pharmacy on November 13 by unlocking a medication cart. The cart was filled with individually packaged candies to demonstrate the pharmacy’s new packaging technology.

Janet Harding, director of pharmacy services, left, and Maura Davies, Saskatoon Health Region president and CEO, symbolically opened the new hospital pharmacy on November 13 by unlocking a medication cart. The cart was filled with individually packaged candies to demonstrate the pharmacy’s new packaging technology.

“I started work in the current pharmacy in 1984,” Harding told the audience. “It was a great space and it really served the patients of University Hospital very well, but over the years, pharmacy practices changed.” As director of regional pharmacy services in Saskatoon Health Region, Harding expressed what the new pharmacy means for patients and staff. “First and foremost, as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, we know it’s an environment that helps us to be the best at what we need to do for patients, and that’s provide safe, effective and efficient medication therapy.”

“This new pharmacy meets modern quality and safety standards for pharmaceutical preparations,” says Saskatoon Health Region president and CEO Maura Davies. “Although this new space is in Saskatoon, it is a regional pharmacy and the new areas for sterile product preparation will benefit all Saskatoon Health Region patients.”

The $4.45 million pharmacy renovation was designed using lean principles and funded by the Ministry of Health ($2.5 million), the Royal University Hospital Foundation’s commitment of an estate gift from the Joseph Zaretski family ($1 million), and Saskatoon Health Region.

Known as the “clean room,” this area of the new pharmacy meets USP797 modern standards for sterile drug preparations.

Known as the “clean room,” this area of the new pharmacy meets USP797 modern standards for sterile drug preparations.

Different than a community pharmacy, the hospital pharmacy prepares sterile drug products, provides centralized production for intravenous preparations and packages almost 10,000 tablets per day in individually labelled packets ready to administer to patients. Medication bar codes will soon be in place to further enhance patient safety and reduce any medication waste.

The new pharmacy is about one third larger than the current pharmacy. With the new space and the modern equipment pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will provide enhanced levels of services to Saskatoon Health Region patients including Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan when it opens.