Innovative pharmacy ordering software developed at Kingaroy Hospital

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Kym Janes and Andrew Murray

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A new app developed by eHealth and Darling Downs Health staff is allowing clinicians to lodge medication requests faster, leading to better outcomes for patients in the South Burnett.

PharmGate is a Darling Downs Health application, developed in a bid to move away from paper-based pharmacy medication requests across the South Burnett. The application enables staff at Kingaroy, Nanango, Cherbourg and Murgon to order medication digitally.

Director of Pharmacy Kingaroy Hospital, Kym Janes said as the pharmacy service provision across the South Burnett grew, the paper-based system wasn’t sustainable.

“We knew we had to seek a more efficient solution. Previously, medication ordering was completed on a paper-based form and either sent to pharmacy or collected from various departments by Pharmacy staff.

“Now, staff can place an order through PharmGate from any workstation across the South Burnett, the order gets emailed directly to us and a unique identifier order number is attached to it, the order is dispensed, checked by a pharmacist, and delivered to the relevant clinical area.

“It’s certainly improved our time to supply. Before PharmGate, if someone requested an antibiotic for an 8am dose, it was reliant on someone from pharmacy collecting that order before the administration time and that wasn’t always possible. We can now track the date and time the drug is required to ensure timely access.

“We’ve received great feedback from staff, PharmGate has improved not only our workflow, but patient care as well,”

Director of Pharmacy Kingaroy Hospital, Kym Janes

Principal Technology Officer Servers and Apps Development, Andrew Murray said the original software took around six weeks to develop, the latest version includes the ability to order dangerous drugs.

“Since it’s development in 2021, approximately 9000 drugs have been requested.

“PharmGate is a single method for departments ordering from Pharmacy, replacing the ad hoc process where departments work would order drugs via phone, sticky note, fax or walk up, orders are now directly emailed to the Kingaroy Hospital Pharmacy.

“One of the great features of PharmGate is that there’s a visible history of what each department has ordered recently to avoid duplication,” Mr Murray said.