Health-e (Cape Town)

South Africa: Free State Hospital Pharmacy Wins National Award

Bethlehem — The Dihlabeng Regional Hospital (DRH) Pharmacy in Bethlehem, in the Free State, was lauded at the 10th Annual National Centre for Public Service Innovation Awards that recently took place at Emperor's Palace Casino in Johannesburg.

The DRH pharmacy has been making use of the RX solutions, a computer system used for stock control and dispensing, for the last six years. The pharmacy is a pilot site of the system.

Recently the DRH's pharmacy was honoured with an award in the Information Technology category of the National Centre for Public Service Innovation Awards for its use of the RX solutions. "We are very happy that we did something to benefit the patients that utilise our services in our community, the award came as a surprise and we feel honoured that our hard work does not go unnoticed," says Almarie Marias, DRH's pharmacy manager.

This technology (RX solutions) has shown great improvement in the the hospital's pharmacy as well as in the 38 sites in the Free State where the system was later rolled out. According to Marias, the pharmacy previously used the writing method to capture their data, this resulted in many delays, long lines, poor service delivery and it was difficult to manage patients as well as the in coming and out going of the stock.

Since 2006, the implementation of this programme has shown great improvement in monitoring the pharmacy stock as well as managing patients, patient waiting periods have reduced and the quality of service render has improved. Marias says: "This programme is time effective and efficient, we currently have data of over sixty thousand patients loaded. It prints patients' reports and medicine labels as required by the law, making our job easier."

"Honour must also go to our patners who were of great assistance in the improvement of pharmaceutical services, and again to the team I work with for their hard work and dedication."

Having identified the benefits of this programme, other provinces such as Gauteng and North West have also implemented the programme. This programme will soon be rolled out to all provinces around the country to improve quality service delivery.

Selloane Molakeng is the OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Thabo Mofutsanyana health district in the Free State

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