Hospital Logistics offers medication distribution tailored to the patient at AZ Alma (Eeklo)

Hospital Logistics offers medication distribution tailored to the patient at AZ Alma (Eeklo)

The importance of the Ethilog solutions for efficient medication distribution in healthcare institutions

It is a nightmare for hospitals, residential care centres and nursing and care homes: the possibility of administering the wrong medication to a patient or resident. Fortunately, systems exist to prevent this scenario. The General Hospital AZ Alma of Eeklo, Belgium, commissioned Hospital Logistics, a subsidiary of H.Essers, to develop a decentralised medication distribution system. Eric Dewaet, general director of Hospital Logistics, offers us a glimpse behind the scenes.

Customised medication distribution
Eric Dewaet: “Simply put, you can use a decentralised system to ensure that the right patient receives the right medication at the right time. The system holds the advantage over a central distribution system – where the medicines are prepared in the central pharmacy – because it enables observing more closely and reacting more rapidly, since the preparation of the medicines is brought closer to the patient’s bed. This results in greater patient safety. For AZ Alma, we have developed a system based on Ethilog solutions.”

“In close cooperation with the hospital, we identified all possible problems: the logistical part, the wishes of the pharmacy and nurses, and the staff and budgetary restrictions. And given that a healthcare department is operational 24/7, we looked for a model that also meets the needs of the hospital in the evenings and weekends. All requirements were thoroughly analysed and formed the basis for the system that we ultimately implemented.”

“In concrete terms, this means that you will now find an Ethilog cabinet in every care unit containing 80% of the medication that is customary in that department. The other 20% is patient-specific medication. These medicines are delivered from the central pharmacy. The logistics management of the 80% in the cabinet is delivered by the pharmacy. The medication from the cabinet is picked by the nurse on the basis of an electronic prescription, which is controlled by the cabinet.”

Good preparation and the appropriate companies
Eric looks back on the process: “To successfully introduce a new medication distribution system like this, proper preparation is very important. Strict project management is crucial. The rest is cultural change, the will of everyone to adapt to his working method, to inspire each other to set up the system in all departments, step by step, until everyone says: “We do not want to go back to the old system.” And I think the team at AZ Alma will fully agree when I say that together, we have succeeded!

Hospital director Rudy Maertens agrees. “We also appreciate the great involvement of all external parties up until now. Hospital Logistics and Ethilog not only ensured tight project follow-up during the implementation of the system, which enabled us to focus on our internal tasks. And to this day, there are still regular consultations.”

More information about the logistic solutions for Hospital Logistics? Please contact General Director Eric Dewaet:


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