August 29, 2023

We are Northern: This is the Pharmacy team

The Northern Health Pharmacy department has a dedicated team of close to 100 pharmacists and 30 pharmacy technicians who are responsible for timely and safe medicine supply across all Northern Health sites.

At Northern Hospital Epping, the main pharmacy is located on the ground floor near Outpatients, whilst a separate satellite pharmacy is on the ground floor of the Main Ward Block.

“You’ll find most of our team members mixing amongst the clinical staff across the wards of Bundoora Centre, Broadmeadows Hospital and Northern Hospital Epping, however, where they play a critical role is optimising medication management and providing medicine information to both our consumers and other health professionals,” said Jier Ngyuen, Deputy Director, Pharmacy Operations.

Like many other departments, the Pharmacy team faced numerous challenges during the pandemic, including staff shortages, interruptions in medication supply chains and redeployment of resources to set up vaccination hubs and coordinate COVID-19 medication supply.

Despite the challenges, the team displayed resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity and are proud to have been able to contribute to the pandemic response.

Jier said whilst the pharmacy’s core services across dispensary, procurement and the inpatient wards remain strong, the team is looking forward to the further expansion and specialisation of pharmacy practice in 2023 and beyond.

“The Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) is one space that houses a wealth of opportunities for pharmacy involvement, as does our recent inclusion in Pre-Admission Clinic (PAC) and our Stewardship positions (covering Analgesic, Anticoagulation and Antimicrobial streams),” he said.

“We are also ready to embrace new technology to optimise our workflows, including not only the introduction of EMR in September, but also the use of automated dispensing cabinets and electronic medication registers in the not-to-distant future.”

“We hope these improved efficiencies will increase our availability to expand our clinical service into a unit-based model and continue our work to roll out Partnered Pharmacist Medication Charting (PPMC) across the network.”

Featured image: Some of the Pharmacy team members in the Satellite Pharmacy.