Monday, October 15, 2012

Victoria Hospitals Foundation Launches Fall Campaign #yyj

October 15, 2012

Victoria Hospitals Foundation Launches Fall Campaign

Victoria — The Victoria Hospitals Foundation today launched its Fall Campaign with a goal to raise more than $500,000 towards the purchase of nine medication dispensing cabinets for the Royal Jubilee Hospital’s Patient Care Centre. The cabinets are one part of a larger Medication Safety Initiative being implemented by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) with a vision for medication practice that is: “Excellent care for everyone, everywhere, every time.”

Connected to the hospital pharmacy, the AcuDose-Rx Medication Dispensing Cabinet is a hub that centralizes and secures medication, giving the majority a unique barcode for accurate identification and inventory tracking. For every patient, every medication, only the correct cabinet drawer will open, lighting a container to guide caregivers to the prescribed medicine.

“Our caregivers are highly skilled and follow established safety procedures,” said Dr. Christina Vuksic, VIHA’s Medical Director, Quality and Patient Safety, “but our system is complex and errors in ordering, dispensing and transcribing do occur. In my career I have been that physician who has had that devastating realization that I had made a mistake. I learned that ‘to err is human’ but to fail to learn is unforgivable.

“Positive change always comes from honesty, openness and the courage to face a challenge,” Vuksic continued. “So today we are speaking openly about this issue and how we begin to resolve it — by implementing new processes, by talking to you about the problem and by using better tools. This equipment, working as part of our larger Medication Safety Initiative, can further improve safety and efficiency and help reduce medication errors.”

Former patient Colleen McGavin spoke firsthand about her experience.

“I experienced a medication dispensing error following day surgery at Royal Jubilee Hospital,” said McGavin. “I was given pain medication that not only removed my pain, but put me in a state of semi-consciousness. My whole body felt drugged. While the effects eventually wore off, I remember hearing my caregivers say to each other that a medication error had been made.

“If we want to continually improve our health system then we need to give our medical teams the best tools possible to do their jobs,” McGavin continued. “These medication dispensing units reduce the steps between nurse and patient, and have been proven to decrease the number of medication mistakes that can occur.”

Lance Abercrombie, Victoria Hospitals Foundation Board Chair said, “The Royal Jubilee Hospital’s Patient Care Centre has some of the most advanced medical equipment and technology in Canada. As health care technology expands and improves, our medical teams must deliver complex care to any number of patients with sophisticated medication regimes. These cabinets will provide significant benefit to them and their patients.”

Donations to the Foundation’s Fall Campaign can be made by mailing a cheque to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, calling 250-519-1750, or visiting

Funds will also be raised at the Foundation’s annual Visions gala on November 17 at The Fairmont Empress.

In addition, the Foundation is raising $25 million for state-of-the-art equipment and technology for the new Patient Care Centre through the Building Care Together capital campaign.

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