Sydney Children’s Hospital welcomes new technology pilot program

Automated medication cabinets supporting patient safety and efficiency are being introduced to clinical areas within the new children's hospital building at Randwick.

The first Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADCs) arrived in March for a pilot program to familiarise Sydney Children’s Hospital (SCH) staff with the technology.

The cabinets have digital screens and technologically enabled drawers that store medications and record information to inform stock levels.

Felicity Wright, Director of Pharmacy at SCH, said the technology would help reduce medication errors, support efficient nursing workflows for controlled drugs, and streamline inventory management.

"It will greatly impact medication safety and help us reduce our carbon footprint. Interfacing with the ADC will mean that pharmaceutical inventory management on the wards is supported by software to inform the back end in Pharmacy," said Dr Wright.

It's about ensuring that the SCH nursing staff looking after patients and families have timely access to the right drug at the right time, and at the right dose.

The technology has advanced functions such as barcode medication administration, enabling the tracking of single medication items.

In early 2023, the SCH Pharmacy became independent from Prince of Wales Hospital, and will operate under a new model of care when operational within the new building.

While the ADCs are the most significant change, the service will also have new production suites, a purpose-built compounding pharmacy four times the size of its current facility, and futureproofing for robotic technology.

The ADC pilot program has commenced in the after-hours medication room, C3 South and Emergency Department.

Pictured: Redevelopment Change & Transition Lead, Louise O’Shannassy (second from left), with SCH Pharmacy and C3S team members piloting the new technology. Inset: Nurse Unit Manager, Kara Munro and SCH Pharmacy Technician, Tennele Skinner trial the new ADC in C3S.

Published June 2024