NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — On Aug. 1, the newly renovated Outpatient Pharmacy at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Hospital opened for business.
The renovations started in March of 2015 and were completed in phases that ended up totaling $1.5 million. Phase one was the renovation of the inpatient pharmacy, was completed in Jan. 2016 and phase two was the outpatient renovation, was recently completed.
“This renovation was intended to improve our workflow for the outpatient pharmacy, bringing it in line with standard workflows around the Air Force Medical Service,” said Lt. Col. Krissa Crawford, 99th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy flight commander. “We also installed a brand new, state of the art ‘clean room’ where we make IVs for inpatient use, as well as chemotherapy for our Infusion Clinic. The clean room is a significant upgrade over our old pharmacy and brings us in line with civilian standards of practice.”
Along with the state of the art clean room, another new feature the pharmacy showcases is a new patient window setup.
“The new window set up puts the window deeper into the pharmacy so the patient is not standing in the hallway,” said Tech. Sgt. Flordeliza Sia, 99th MSS, NCO in-charge of the Outpatient Pharmacy. “Also, there are soundproof partitions between each window providing our patients the privacy to discuss their medical concerns and questions.”
Showcased along with the new window setup is a new queuing system that allows for accurate time keeping of when patients pull their ticket to how long it takes prescription medications to be filled.
“This queuing system will allow us to use real time data to improve, tweak and adjust services to provide patients a better overall experience,” said Sia.
With the technology changes comes an aesthetic change; an open floor plan. In the past, the 12 technicians were bumping into each other and getting into each other’s ways. With the new floor plan, that problem is eliminated.
With the old setup, the pharmacy had one “pod”, which is essentially a mini pharmacy. Now the pharmacy is equipped with three pods that can simultaneously be worked if needed to reduce patient wait time.
Each pod can be minimally manned with four technicians and one pharmacist. Also, the configuration allows the patients to see the inner workings of the pharmacy.
“This new space is much more open, modern and more conducive to developing teamwork,” said Crawford. “It’s a much more pleasant place to work than the old pharmacy.”
Both the main and satellite outpatient pharmacies are open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Any Department of Defense ID cardholder beneficiary can utilize either of the pharmacies.
The Mike O’Callaghan Federal Hospital pharmacy fills new prescriptions entered by providers in the hospital. The satellite pharmacy fills written prescriptions sent from network civilian providers and all refills called into the 24/7 automated refill line at 702-652-5359.