January 18, 2021

Pharmacy rolls out new red resus trolleys

Starting today, the Pharmacy team will be rolling out new colour coded resuscitation (resus) trolleys at Northern Hospital. The red trolleys will be rolled out in the Emergency Department (ED), Intensive Care Unit (ICU), theatres and Cath Lab 1, as a staged approach with ED and ICU starting first as part of phase 1 this week.

James Ash, ED and ICU Pharmacy Team Leader, explained the idea for the new trolleys came after the team noticed that there were resus trolleys in the wards and around the hospital that didn’t have consistent inventory in terms of medications, and were variable in terms of layout.

“We wanted to have new options, which will ensure medication is still secure, but easily accessible. As a result, we developed three different trolley types that are colour coded for easy selection and pinpad locked in high-use areas. ED, ICU, theatres and Cath Lab 1 will be given a designated red trolley, with a uniform layout in all areas. Other areas in the hospital will get green trolleys, with uniform contents and layout. In the future, the plan is to develop colour coded trolleys for all our campuses,” he said.

Jier Nguyen, Associate Director, Pharmacy Operations, explained the overall goal is to one day have consistency across the whole of the organisation, maintaining the security and accessibility of the medications in the trolleys.

“A lot of work has been done with consulting key stakeholders and members of Standards 4 and 8 to facilitate a smooth transition to the new trolleys. During the initial rollout of this project, pharmacy will be attending all MET calls during pharmacy operating hours to assist with this changeover. They will take on feedback regarding the trolley setup, as well as assist with locating medicines to ensure optimal patient care,” Jier said.

“From a Standard 4 perspective, the medications are more securely stored, because the trolleys are locked now. In terms of Standard 8, the consistency in contents and layout benefits the deteriorating patient by providing prompt access to life-saving medications directly at the point of care. Hopefully improving patient care is the long term goal,” he added.

Crista Javier, Pharmacy Technician, explained that her role is to swap the trolleys currently in ED and change them over to the new red ones, while also being in charge of setting up the contents and labelling the drawers.

“This system will enable me to service the area better, as I can easily check where these trolleys are and what is in them. I will be able to check the expiry dates better and will be able to see if the amount of stock is appropriate. This makes my job easier, as everything will be standard across the board. The pharmacy technicians are in charge of monthly auditing the trolleys, to make sure the quantities are right and that the medications are in-date,” she explained.

Featured image (left to right): Crista Javier, James Ash, Jier Nguyen.