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Departments across the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) are continuing to look at ways to reduce clinical waste across the campus with Pharmacy popping the tabs on some key changes that have resulted in $40,000 of savings from reducing discarded medications.
Pharmacy Assistant, Julia Tisdall, undertook her own war on waste in 2016 with an audit and a plan to reduce the amount of medications that are discarded for compliance reasons with simple changes to storage and education.
“What I noticed was that some medications were having to be discarded because of simple miscommunications like correct storage requirements or the packaging not kept with the product.
“Obviously, patient safety comes first, but there were several opportunities for us to change our processes at the ward level to maintain medications for longer and reduce unnecessary wastage of pills which is a significant saving for the hospital,” she said.
The initial audit revealed about $132,000 in pharmaceuticals wasted throughout 2016.
“Through simple changes and ongoing education with the nursing teams, we found a saving of over $40,000 by 2018 which is a great financial benefit and represents a positive change for the environment,” said Julia.
When it comes to implementing changes to reduce waste, PAH staff are very committed to the cause.
“Our amazing teams all over the hospital have helped to achieve this.
“They are all incredibly supportive and receptive to changes as they were conscious of the waste, the cost and the impact on sustainability,” she said.
“We have a wonderful healthcare system and we want to keep it like that for generations to come.”