November 21, 2018
EDMONTON – Land has been obtained in northwest Edmonton for the construction of a new central drug production facility, Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced today.
The 3,700-sq.-m facility is part of a $66-million provincial project to consolidate and centralize medication preparation and distribution for hospitals in Alberta. The project – part of the Government of Alberta’s 2017-2021 Capital Plan – also includes the expansion and enhancement of an existing central production facility in Calgary and the redevelopment of five sites that will act as regional hubs.
“We all share the goal of delivering safe, effective and sustainable medication management for our patients, their families and other healthcare professionals,” says Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health. “The new state-of-the-art drug production facility in Edmonton and enhancements at similar sites across the province will help us centralize this vital healthcare function. It will improve both patient safety and overall efficiency, and make Alberta a national leader in medication management.”
Construction of the new Edmonton facility is expected to start in 2021, and all work on the provincial project is scheduled to be complete by 2023.
“This is an exciting day for all of us,” says Karen Horon, Senior Operating Officer of AHS Pharmacy Services. “This centralized model will enable AHS to prepare and package a greater number of medications centrally, which will allow us to deliver the best and safest possible care for our patients.”
There are many advantages to having more medications produced in a centralized AHS pharmacy, Horon adds.
“Some medications only need to be repackaged prior to dispensing for patient use, but others require some type of preparation,” she explains. “Ideally, a high proportion of medications are prepared in a centralized pharmacy. It minimizes the time nurses spend on preparing doses, freeing them up to spend more time with patients. And by distributing medications in ready-to-administer, patient-specific packages, we’re decreasing the risk of medication errors.”
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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