Australian-first initiative up for award

Four health professionals holding medication pods.
Senior Pharmacist Ken Tan, Project Lead Lewis Bint, Chief Pharmacist Barry Jenkins and Senior Pharmacist Ashleigh Lawrence with the new single dose unit opioid pods.
October 26, 2018

An Australian-first initiative by Fiona Stanley Hospital’s (FSH) Pharmacy Department has been named a finalist in the 2018 WA Health Excellence Awards.

The Oral Liquid Opioid project was led by the FSH Pharmacy who partnered with a private TGA licensed facility to develop a pod which could be filled with a pre-set volume of opioid liquid corresponding to a typical single dose.

Chief Pharmacist Barry Jenkins said the new unit dose pod had many significant benefits.

“The implementation of pods has improved the management of controlled drug liquids, reduced time spent resolving discrepancies and improved staff confidence in product quality,” Barry said.

“We solved a seemingly intractable problem in managing liquid opioids. It was very satisfying to work collaboratively with a large number of teams and to receive ongoing positive feedback from clinical staff.”

Lewis Bint led the technical development, consultation with staff and coordinated the pilot in the FSH Paediatric Ward and Emergency Department, through to a full site roll-out.

“From May 2017 to May 2018, pods for oxycodone, morphine, codeine and hydromorphone were distributed to 27 clinical areas with discrepancies analysed before and after implementation,” Lewis said.

“Of the 3062 pods distributed, there were zero discrepancies, compared to the 133 bottles of the same drugs distributed with 16 discrepancies reported.”

The success of the liquid opioid pod system has seen it implemented throughout all WA Country Health Service South West Hospitals, Perth Children’s Hospital and King Edward Memorial Hospital, with other local and interstate hospitals also considering the changeover.

Barry is proud of his team again being a finalist at the awards after winning a category last year.

“The awards are an excellent opportunity to showcase the impressive work of our team,” he said.

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