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.