Hospital Opens Newly Remodeled and Expanded Pharmacy

On September 26, Kona Community Hospital (KCH) will celebrate the completion of its newly remodeled and expanded Pharmacy with a blessing and open house. The event commemorates the culmination of a multidepartment renovation project.

Opened in the 1970’s, the pharmacy department has been constrained by its size for a number of years. The expansion nearly doubles the pharmacy size, creating space for new equipment and furnishings.

Design of the space took workflow efficiency into consideration. The new configuration replaces a cramped, 40-year old pharmacy model, which wasn’t as efficient as it could be. The brightly lit new space includes a general dispensing area that flows into the individual pharmacists’ workstations, also provides plenty of counter space. The pharmacy remodel includes the implementation of Quiet Zones to improve staff concentration and decrease distractions.

Security was also an important design component. The new pharmacy has two access doors, and no external facing windows, increasing staff safety. It is fully alarmed and will be monitored by high-security cameras.

The space has been outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, including:

  • Seven zones, each with individual temperature and humidity control
  • All new air handlers
  • A HEPA air filtration system
  • Pharmacy grade refrigeration
  • 6’ Laminar Flow Hood

Additionally, the KCH pharmacy will be compliant United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 797 standards for sterile compounding. It will also be one of the first pharmacies in Hawaii to be USP 800 compliant in the handling and storage of hazardous drugs such as chemotherapy.

“The pharmacy’s new layout and technology will reduce potential for medication errors’” said Pharmacy Director, Marilinda Passon. “The new design will help us ensure that medications are dispensed safely and accurately so that we provide nurses and doctors the tools they need to heal the community.”

Noting that pharmacists no longer work only behind the scenes, Passon says, “Our pharmacists have a key role in employee and patient education. We’re thrilled that now we’ll be doing that job in a 21st century pharmacy.”

The KCH pharmacy provides pharmacy services to Kona Community Hospital, the KCH Cancer Treatment Center’s Infusion/Hematology clinic and to Kohala Hospital. Currently, the pharmacy operates 7 days per week and is staffed by 8 pharmacists and 7 pharmacy techs.

 

Hawaii Island Trauma Centers Launch Island-wide Text-Free Driving Campaign

The Hawaii Island trauma centers at Hilo Medical Center, Kona Community Hospital and North Hawaii Community Hospital are collaborating on a summer safety campaign designed to educate Hawaii County drivers about the dangers of texting while driving.  The campaign, kicked off on Memorial Day, marks the “100 deadliest days of summer for teen drivers.”

Traditionally, the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is the “100 deadliest days of summer” for teen drivers according to the National Safety Council. The goal of the summer-long campaign is to encourage drivers to break the tradition and stop texting while driving.

The safety campaign will run on social medial platforms of the respective hospitals and will be included in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, West Hawaii Today and on island-wide radio stations.

“Everyone knows that texting while driving is distracting, but new statistics show the real dangers of distracted driving,” said Wendi Wagner, RN, Kona Community Hospital Trauma Program Manager. “This initiative is intended to raise awareness and educate our teens as well as adults that texting and driving is a dangerous activity with deadly consequences.”

When it comes to cell phones, new statistics show the real dangers of distracted driving. In February, the National Safety Council released preliminary data on motor vehicle deaths in the U.S.  Data indicate that vehicular deaths increased 6% in 2015, bringing the nationwide two-year total increase to a staggering 14%.

In Hawaii, the numbers reflect a similar trend. Tentative FARS (Fatal Analysis Reporting System) data indicate that in 2016 Hawaii had 64 motor vehicle occupant deaths, a 47% increase over the annual average of 44 deaths per year for the previous 5-year period.  Honolulu and Hawaii counties account for the largest scale of overall increase in traffic crash-related fatalities.

Texting is of heightened concern because it combines three types of distraction – visual, taking the eyes off the road; manual, taking the hands off the wheel; and cognitive, taking the mind off the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers who text behind the wheel take their eyes off the road for an average of almost 5 seconds at a time. At 55 mph, that is the same as driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Campaign organizers at the Hawaii Island trauma centers hope that by raising public awareness, teens and adults will realize the real dangers of texting while driving , and will ultimately change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, friends and others on Hawaii County roads.