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Pharmacy IT

Quebec hospitals implement drug-interaction system

MONTREAL – Hospitals and healthcare facilities in the Lower St. Lawrence, Gaspé Peninsula/Magdalen Islands and Outaouais regions have invested $2 million to implement the advanced SyPhaC pharmaceutical management system, which uses IBM technology and services.

SyPhaC enhances the quality of patient care by facilitating the provision of pharmaceutical care, through the integration and automation of services offered by hospital pharmacies.

Demands on Quebec hospitals are rising steadily while resources are limited. In the past, when validating prescriptions, hospital pharmacists had to manually check the information in patient files to ensure there was no risk of hazardous drug interactions. The SyPhaC system increases efficiency and decreases the risk of human error by creating personalized pharmacological profiles, automating verifications, and immediately alerting the pharmacist in the event of potential drug interactions or possible allergies.

The SyPhaC system was developed by Artefact Informatique, a division of LGS Group Inc., an IBM company specializing in the implementation of clinical solutions. It is sufficiently flexible to integrate the specialized needs and parameters of each hospital pharmacy department while maintaining rigorous standards. Whether the patient is in intensive care, the delivery room or awaiting chemotherapy, pharmacists are able to work quickly to ensure treatment is administered safely, effectively and efficiently.

“SyPhaC enables us to better integrate our processes and to pool important information about our patients with total security,” explained, François Paradis, Head of the Pharmacy Department at the Centre de santé et de services sociaux de Rimouski-Neigette, in the Lower St. Lawrence region. With the system, our pharmacists have direct access to patients’ laboratory results, facilitating better decisions to optimize their drug therapy.”

The system can also interact with automated pharmacy equipment, making it possible to package medications in individual bar-coded packets that will be delivered to the appropriate care unit, thereby reducing the risk of errors associated with drug administration.

Initially, SyPhaC was installed in a number of hospitals in the Lower St. Lawrence, Gaspé Peninsula/Magdalen Islands and Outaouais regions at the beginning of 2007. In January 2008, twenty-five Quebec hospitals – including the Montréal Heart Institute and the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ) – were using SyPhaC to manage medication use.

The system helps healthcare facilities across Quebec comply with the standards and regulations set by the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation, an independent non-profit organization devoted to improving patient care in Canada. As hospital needs evolve, SyPhaC can be adapted to new clinical processes and may one day exchange data with institutions across the country. This will follow in step with measures implemented by the federal government under its shareable electronic health record strategy.

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About Artefact Informatique
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