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Hospital receives major grant to implement ePharmacy Program PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 16 June 2011 21:08

Management at Chase County Community Hospital was informed last week they will be receiving a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust in the amount $463,179 to establish an electronic pharmacy system titled “ePharmacy.”

This new system will provide physicians and nurses immediate access to pharmacists 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The grant will be used to purchase equipment that connects local physicians with hospital-trained pharmacists for review of medications.

Currently, Jamie Hanes of Adams Drug provides prescription review for the hospital. Hanes will continue in that capacity. The purpose of the ePharmacy project is to provide review when Hanes is not on duty.

Wendi Nordhausen, R.N. at Chase County Community Hospital, retrieves medication from the hospital pharmacy dispensing unit which was placed into service in 2006. It will now be integrated into the new ePharmacy project funded in part by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. (Courtesy Photo)


Regulations require that medications ordered by physicians at the hospital are to be reviewed by a pharmacist.

“In rural hospitals like ours, it is not financially feasible to have a pharmacist on duty 24 hours a day. The ePharmacy project will help us to provide round-the-clock pharmacy review which typically is only found in urban hospitals. It’s another step to insure quality care and safety for our patients,” stated Lola Jones, hospital CEO.

Basically, once a medication order is given by the physician, it will be transmitted electronically to the pharmacist who will review the prescription and then electronically send the result of that review back to the hospital. Once the order is reviewed and returned, staff can access the proper medication from the hospital pharmacy.

An October time frame is targeted for full implementation of the ePharmacy system.

The grant was submitted by the Chase County Hospital Foundation on behalf of Chase County Community Hospital.

“The grant process started last fall when we became aware of this opportunity,” according to Randy Vlasin, Executive Director of the Chase County Hospital Foundation.

Staff at Chase County Community Hospital met with representatives of Avera Health company of Sioux City, S.D., which provides ePharmacy services to gain a better understanding of how this type of system operates.

“This grant was a team effort,” stated Vlasin. “Staff including Wendi Nordhausen, Dustin Harris, Lola Jones and Renee Fink provided information for the grant which was submitted the first part of April,” he said.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Rural Healthcare Program funds programs that provide rural healthcare to people in the upper Midwest. The Helmsley Trust has awarded more than $104 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in the region through the Rural Healthcare Program.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, established in 1999, supports a diverse range of organizations with a major focus on health and medical research, human services, education and conservation. The Trust has announced more than $440 million in grants to charitable organizations since 2004.