Construction has begun to transform Vernon Jubilee’s old emergency department into a new and expanded pharmacy department.
The pharmacy is currently housed in the basement of the original building, which has not been renovated since 1982. Once open, the new pharmacy will almost double from 200 to 398 square metres.
“The pharmacy has 28 staff providing hundreds of medications per day, plus clinical pharmacist services to patients at their bedside,” said Norm Embree, Interior Health Authority chairperson.
“It’s great to see these improvements underway for such an integral department.”
The new space will feature upgraded equipment, enhanced work space, a sterile compounding area for the preparation of medications and a new chemotherapy preparation area.
The pharmacy department provides a number of additional services including: teaching patients about medication, providing clinical advice to physicians about drug therapy, offering drug information to nurses and other health professionals, training pharmacy students and residents, preparing medications for the cancer clinic and counselling patients about chemotherapy.
“Our hospital’s pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants play a vital role in providing quality patient care,” said Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee.
“We need to ensure their work space continues to allow them to safely and effectively prepare and distribute much needed medications.”
The $1.7 million price tag is being shared by the provincial government and the North Okanagan-Columbia-Shuswap Regional Hospital District.
Demolition of the old emergency department will wrap up by the end of January and contractors will then begin construction. The project is expected to be complete by early 2015.