Medicines are an important component of any hospital therapy. The Hospital pharmacy is responsible for preparing the medicine required by each ward and porters deliver this load in five daily trips between two sites that are 350m apart and using a trolley that is not specifically designed for this task.
The current medicine trolley is inadequate for few reasons:
- Its size makes it cumbersome to handle it. The wheels are inadequate for outside streets/pavements because they are small. However, increasing their size may affect the agility of the trolley indoors;
- The trolley has two tiers with baskets on them but medicine can fall off if the trolley meets rough surfaces;
- The trolley does not have lockable compartments, cannot be traced and cannot be immobilised to avoid that someone would move it or take it away, if the porter is not attending it;
- The medicine trolley carries medicines that could be stolen but at the moment the porter has no immediate means to alert the organisation if this happens.
In addition to the problems with the current medicine trolley, the process of delivering medicine to the wards rely on agreed delivery rounds that at times cannot be met. This results in delays or omission of medicines delivery and this can be dangerous for medicine that are temperature sensitive and can lead to potential harm or sub optimal treatment for patients. At times, when the medicines are late or have not been dispensed, nurses need to walk to the pharmacies to collect the medicine, making it time consuming for them.
Beneficiaries of this project will be: 1. the patients (medicines delivered, hence administered to patients on time), 2. The nurses, saving time by not having to walk to the pharmacy and receiving the correct medicines, 3. The pharmacy porters able to better handle the trolley and aided in the delivery of medicines to the correct wards.
This was a collaborative project with the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals
A video summary of the project can be found below.