For Rabiah Siddiqui, working as a pharmacist in Regina's hospitals is all about providing world-class care to patients.
When I came here four years ago, I was very impressed with the hospitals' commitment to our patients. They come first in every decision that is made,Rabiah says.
One of those decisions was to invest in state-of-the-art equipment and technology for the Pharmacy Department, through their partner, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. The technology revolutionized the storage and dispensing of medications for the Region.
“This technology adds an extra level of safety for our patients,” Rabiah says.
Some of the new technology was installed in the dispensary at the Regina General and Pasqua Hospitals. When a technician requests a medication, a robotic arm picks the box that holds the specific medication by reading its individual bar code and delivers it to the technician. The equipment saves space and provides better inventory control. As a result, the Pharmacy Department has been able to reduce the amount of medications they store on site.
The second piece of technology is used by nurses to dispense medication on the wards. The machine recognizes each nurse by their fingerprint. The nurse then enters a patient’s name, their prescribed medication is dispensed, and the nurse delivers it to the patient.
Kelly Babcock, director of pharmacy says, “Everyone – doctors, nurses and pharmacists – are very grateful for this enhancement in our work.” Rabiah is one of those pharmacists, “This equipment completely changed the way we store and dispense medication.”
Rabiah’s work takes her to many areas of the hospital. Every day, she sees how the investments made by the Foundation help to provide the best care possible for patients. She says Hospitals of Regina Foundation’s funding to their area continues to help make the delivery of drugs to patients within the hospitals faster and safer.
As a front-line care provider, this translates into more fulfilling work for myself, and better outcomes for our patients,” Rabiah says. “It’s rewarding to be able to provide world-class care in a hospital in a smaller centre like Regina.In the hospital dispensary Rabiah oversees the doctors’ medication orders for safety and appropriateness, and manages the patient electronic medication profiles. But the dispensary is only a part of Rabiah’s role. In a typical day, Rabiah will meet with patients to talk to them about their medication, make rounds with the doctors and help the team navigate complex drug therapy options. She also works with nurses to ensure medications are administered in the best manner, and liaises with social workers to make sure patients have a good medication plan when they are discharged.
“Pharmacists play an integral role in so many areas of care,” says Dino Sophocleous, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “The support we have been able to provide touches a wide range of patients with varying needs. It’s all possible because of the continuing support we have from donors.”
Rabiah says, “I know that things can be stressful and scary for patients. But working as a health-care team, we can find solutions and deliver the best care possible, helping to make lives better for our patients.”