Aspen Hospital Pharmacy To Receive $ 2.1 Million Injection In The Arm

Aspen Valley Hospital board member Dr Greg Balko gives a thumbs up after being vaccinated. Balko and other board members this week approved a $ 2.1 million renovation project for AVH’s pharmacy. Dan Bayer / Courtesy of Aspen Valley Hospital

The Aspen Valley Hospital pharmacy will undergo a $ 2.1 million renovation to bring the facility up to standards for handling and mixing hazardous drugs.

The hospital’s board of directors unanimously approved the expense at its monthly meeting earlier this week. The refurbishment of the pharmacy is necessitated by the need to ensure staff safety and comply with industry health standards, officials said.

The Board of Directors last year approved $ 500,000 to be spent on the same project. That amount was incorporated into the estimated figure of $ 2.02 million that the board agreed to on Monday. About $ 1.7 million will cover construction costs, said Stephen Selby, AVH’s facilities manager.

The redesign is being done to comply with the requirements set by the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), an almost 200-year-old organization that sets public health standards for pharmacies and drugs. With the remodel, the hospital pharmacy will have the USP designation and provide a “safer working environment for our pharmacy staff,” according to the AVH documents.

“Without this renovation, our pharmacy would no longer be able to mix dangerous drugs”, specify the documents.

It will also be necessary to expand the pharmacy to create a second ventilation hood so that hazardous and non-hazardous drugs in the pharmacy are separated, Selby said.

“Currently we have a dual-use hood, but since (the updated USP standards) are designed to improve worker safety, these two procedures must be separated and performed in a different hood with different requirements,” said Selby, noting the project is “very mechanically intense and all parts and parts are very expensive in this area.”

The hospital will need to relocate the employee health nurse’s office and the patient representative’s office to accommodate the expansion, Selby said.

The pharmacy has also been on the front line to vaccinate residents, as well as hospital workers, for the past seven weeks. Until Monday, it had hosted 28 COVID-19 vaccination clinics, including 22 at the hospital and six at the Benedict Music tent.

As of Monday, the AVH Pharmacy had administered 3,972 doses, “and we didn’t have any that we wasted, so we made sure we used all the vaccines we had,” Pharmacy Manager John Anderson. told hospital officials and the board. Eighty-four percent of those vaccinations were second doses, he said.

Pharmacy workers made the most of the vaccine supply and benefited several hundred local residents, Anderson said.

“Of those almost 4,000 doses that we administered,” said Anderson, “we were actually able to get 482 more doses from those vials. So this is a small thank you to my pharmacy staff who were tasked with preparing these doses, as we treated every drop in each of these vials like gold, and again we were able to vaccinate essentially completely an additional 280 people over the past seven weeks. So we make sure we get the most out of every viable dose in those vials. ”

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