Grande Prairie is one of 11 communities to benefit from a $54 million commitment from the provincial government to upgrade pharmacies in medical facilities. The funding is a three-year commitment from the province and is slated to either renovate or upgrade 33 pharmacies across Alberta.
Registrar of the Alberta College of Pharmacy, Greg Eberhart says the institution welcomes the province’s commitment to improving the pharmacies operated by Alberta Health Services.
“Pharmacies that compound sterile drug preparations must meet rigorous standards to ensure that preparations do not become contaminated, which would present a risk to patients, and to ensure that pharmacy team members are not exposed to the toxicity of certain drugs,” Eberhart says.
Interim vice-president of Clinical Support Services and Cancer Care Alberta Karen Horon says the money from the province will help ensure pharmacies can continue providing the best quality care possible to patients. She adds it is critical that capabilities to compound drugs in hospital pharmacies are updated, improving staff’s ability to prepare medications which meet the individualized needs of patients.
“Infants who require intravenous medications, for example, may have their exact dosage mixed in-house, which is then administered to them in the unit. Ensuring these hospital pharmacy spaces meet the highest level of standards is critical to patient care and safety,” Horon says.
In his announcement Minister of Health Jason Coppin says the provincial government is committed those who are interacting with hospital pharmacies feel safe.
Pharmacies included in this commitment are run in hospitals, cancer centres and other health facility sites. Some of the infrastructure changes to these sites include ventilation and air conditioning upgrades, heat exchangers, and minimum filtration exhaust fans, while also ensuring facilities are up to Accreditation Canada standards.