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Health Foundation holds successful radiothon for hospital upgrades

Lloydminster Hospital is one step closer to getting new equipment to help with medical prescriptions.

The Lloydminster Health Foundation held a radiothon for 12 hours on December 3 and raised $53,780. The donations went towards a new electronic pill dispenser for the hospital. 

The dispenser is a part of the Pyxis system which ensures the correct medication and dosage will be given to the patient. Each dispenser unit costs roughly $50,000 and the Health Foundation is looking to bring a total of four to the hospital.

“It’s one of those tools that are desperately needed,” says Foundation CEO Malcolm Radke. “I believe we’re the only province in Canada that doesn’t have them in our ER rooms across the province. The pharmacy department is excited and all the nurses which is important because we want to empower that frontline care team as much as possible.”

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The average processing time for a pharmacy order under the current system is 54 minutes. Radke says with the new system it will be a matter of minutes.

“It’s a pretty labour intensive and time-intensive process so an automated medication dispenser is basically like a vending machine, patients can key in and pull up their patient profile and get the exact dosage they need right on the spot and don’t have to worry about recounting or administering their own medication.”

Radke says the dispensers have added benefits such as freeing up time for nurses.

“Per patient in that hospital, it would give the nurses an extra ten minutes with each of them everyday at bedside as opposed to counting medication.”

Radke thanks those who donated and took time out of their day to watch the Facebook livestream of the radiothon.

“We took a chance, a shot in the dark, with the Facebook livestream but I think it worked a lot of positive feedback and a lot of people saw it. It was great advertising for us and we would definitely look at it again maybe as a yearly thing.”

The total cost to implement the system is $422,000 which the provincial governments are footing half the bill with $213,000. The foundation is now a quarter of the way for their share of $209,000.

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