Tag Archives: pharmacy

New York Hospital Queens’ newly installed $1.5M robot to introduce more electronic medical recording


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre


To keep up with the health industry’s shift to electronic medical records, the New York Hospital Queens’ (NYHQ) pharmacy department is turning to a robot.

The pharmacy department moved in February to the basement level of the institution on Main Street and Booth Memorial Avenue to make room for the enormous, new $1.5 million tablet-dispensing robot, called a Pill Picker.

The new department doubled in size to 4,500 square feet and was built around the glassy machine, which stores and distributes medicine, and by June will be utilized to keep track of patient drug usage through a barcoding system.

“At least 10 percent of our patients will be barcoded at the bedside by the end of June,” said Alex Melchert, director of pharmacy at NYHQ. “What this technology gives us, once we implement the barcode aspects of it, is [for example] it will allow us to look at how many times a potential near miss has occurred. And then use that information to improve the work flow.”

The Pill Picker cuts down on time and human error in preparing the drugs, because in the past, pharmacy technicians would have to manually check and separate thousands of pills for numerous patients a day and use a paper system to verify the drugs.

Now technicians scan and load drugs into secure containers, which are checked by pharmacists and then inserted into the robot. The pill picker separates the tablets into a nest of small bags that contain one pill each. The robot can hold about 56,000 bags of drugs.

The machine scans barcodes on the small bags to identify errors, and scans the bags for damage. The robot also tracks the loaded drugs and knows the right drugs to dispense for each patient. It also knows when the department is low on specific drugs and needs to order more.

In June, when distributing drugs to patients, nurses will scan the barcodes on the small bags, the ID wristbands of the patients at their bedside and their own IDs, and the information will be submitted electronically.

“This is the future of our profession,” Melchert said. “There is no doubt in my mind that from a safety perspective we are at the forefront of medication management in hospitals.”

 

 

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CVS stores to stop selling tobacco products by October


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

CVS customers will soon need to turn to another drugstore chain for their supply of cigarettes.

The company announced Wednesday it will stop selling tobacco products at all of its CVS/pharmacy locations by Oct. 1.

“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark.”Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

CVS is the first major national pharmacy chain to remove tobacco products from its shelves.

The company estimates that it will lose approximately $2 billion in revenues annually because of the move.

“This decision more closely aligns the company with its patients, clients and health care providers to improve health outcomes while controlling costs and positions the company for continued growth,”  CVS said.

It will also launch a national smoking cessation program this spring, which will include information and treatment on smoking cessation at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic along with online resources, CVS said. It will additionally offer comprehensive programs for CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management plan members to help them to quit smoking.

 

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Queens hotel fire rescue


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens hotel fire rescue

Firefighters fought their way through heavy smoke and shooting flames yesterday to rescue a man with no pulse from a burning Queens motel and bring him back to life. The victim was in a third-floor room at the Conduit Motor Inn in South Ozone Park at around 4 p.m. when members of Engine 302 and Ladder 155 arrived on scene. Firefighter John Summerville crawled into the room to stay beneath the smoke. “I found him face down by the window. The situation was like an inferno,” Summerville said. After reaching the victim, described as being in his 40s, Summerville pulled him out and put him in an ambulance, where another member of Engine 302 began performing CPR and got a pulse back. Read More: New York Post

Cuomo Turns His Budget Focus To Public Pensions, Education System

Governor Andrew Cuomo is getting ready to reveal his budget proposal for the new fiscal year on Tuesday. Although the governor would not share many details of the expected $130 billion plan in advance, he touted on Monday a brighter picture looking forward. “The good work that we did last year is actually going to pay dividends this year,” said Cuomo. “So, from just a budget point of view, where we had a true crisis last year, we had a $10 billion deficit, we had chaos. We have a much better budget situation on the numbers.” “We got a good start last year, moving in a better and a new direction. Took about a 90-degree turn,” said Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco of Schenectady. Read More: NY1

Astoria Houses kids now have ‘Promise’

More than 1,600 underprivileged children have been “granted” the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Local elected officials and community leaders gathered on January 13 to announce that a $500,000 Promise Neighborhood planning grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) had been procured for the children of the Astoria Houses. Read More: Queens Courier

Druggists’ cure for anxiety: a pistol

Your friendly neighborhood pharmacist will soon be locked and loaded. Rattled druggists from Long Island to the city are increasingly applying for gun permits following a spate of fatal robberies by armed thugs desperate to score highly addictive painkillers. “I’m applying for a pistol permit because of this,’’ said Todd Svec, 48, a pharmacist and owner of the Arlo Drug store in Massapequa Park, LI. “I will feel safer if I have one.’’  Svec’s wife is also a pharmacist at the store — and his four daughters work there. He pointed out that Charlie’s Family Pharmacy in Seaford, LI, where on New Year’s Eve a pill-popping ex-con attempted a stickup that left the thug and an off-duty federal agent dead “is just two miles from here.”  Read More: New York Post

Baby born on PATH train between NJ & NYC

Next stop, maternity ward! A woman went into labor on a New York-bound PATH train yesterday, and her baby took the express track — he was born before the train even pulled in to its Manhattan terminal. When Rabita Sarkar and her husband, Aditya Saurabh, left their Harrison, NJ, home they were still planning their unborn child’s exciting future. But by the time their train rumbled into Manhattan’s 33rd Street station, they were a new family, complete with a baby boy and a train car full of honorary uncles and aunts. “He came in a very dramatic fashion,” the smiling new mom told The Post from her bed at Roosevelt Hospital. Read More: New York Post

One more time, vengeance shall be Giants’

The Giants wanted another shot at the 49ers, wanted the stakes higher than they were in November. Now they have it, and it doesn’t bother them in the least that the game is in San Francisco, because they would play this one, the one that is the Golden Gateway to Glory, on the moon. Jim Harbaugh has restored the pride to a storied franchise, and 60 minutes from the Super Bowl means the Giants will be expecting a hostile environment Sunday night — and possibly a rainy one as well — at Candlestick Park. “I can care less about how hostile it is, it’s a game,” Antrel Rolle said. “When you’re home, you want to bring ’em to their feet. When you’re away, you want to bring ’em to their knees, and that’s the way I look at it.” Read More: New York Post

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announces blackout to protest anti-piracy bills in Congress

Wikipedia will black out the English language version of its website Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress, the foundation behind the popular community-based online encyclopedia said in a statement Monday night. The website will go dark for 24 hours in an unprecedented move that brings added muscle to a growing base of critics of the legislation. Wikipedia is considered one of the Internet’s most popular websites, with millions of visitors daily. “If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States,” the Wikimedia foundation said. Read More: Daily News