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Patient safety

Manitoba to place pharmacists in hospital ERs

WINNIPEG – Manitoba is providing more than $1.75 million to introduce pharmacists and their expertise into some of the province’s busiest emergency departments, announced Health Minister Theresa Oswald.

“Pharmacists are a key part of the healthcare team, working with physicians and other providers to provide quality care,” said Oswald. “Having pharmacists as part of the emergency department team will better support patient safety and help ensure Manitoba families have access to emergency care and the medication they require when they need it.”

Patients at emergency departments often suffer from complex illnesses requiring multiple medications, as well as new medications needed to treat their acute conditions. Pharmacists will review a patient’s medication, to ensure they are receiving the correct dosage, adverse drug interactions are prevented and their physician is informed of any potential problems with the patient’s drug regime.

Seven pharmacy positions will be supported in Winnipeg, while Selkirk, Brandon and Thompson will receive funding for one position in each hospital.

The minister noted the investment builds on work done to support stronger emergency care in Manitoba including:

• upgrading and expanding emergency rooms across the province;

• creating a new emergency medicine department at the University of Manitoba with an increased number of training seats;

• adding front-line staff to emergency rooms, including nurses and doctors, as well as introducing nurse practitioners and physician assistants; and

• taking pressure off emergency rooms by providing alternatives, including better access to family doctors and primary care, and introducing a mental-health crisis response centre and quick-care nurse practitioner clinics.

Posted June 16, 2011