Chronic Dispensing Medication Situation on the Mend
The problems with the provision of chronic medication to Western Cape Government Health facilities have improved. Queues have reduced visibly and the Western Cape Department of Health and UTI are working together to find solutions to overcome the challenges, said Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha.
"The problem with the packaging of medication parcels forced our staff to think innovatively and change the patient flow at certain facilities to lighten the burden," said Minister Botha.
In the past month, the director of professional support services and the chronic medication unit manager, together with service delivery managers in the Metropole, West Coast and Winelands, met with the medication service provider, UTI, on a weekly basis to address and resolve the issues.
The director of professional support services visited a large number of sites to assess and monitor the origin of the problems. The process resulted in innovative practices by staff at clinics to improve the patient flow, such as advising patients to collect their medicine parcels at different times.
Minister Botha said: "Every facility posed different problems and that is why it was a long process to address problems and implement the appropriate interventions." Each site visit has highlighted challenging areas, as well as best practice. The chronic medication delivery service has now been adapted to local conditions ie Kleinvlei CHC, Helderberg Hospital and Mitchell's Plain CHC have space constraints. Their CDU collection points have been moved away from the pharmacy and general waiting area to reduce the queues and patient waiting times.
There are still a few facilities that struggle with the new service provider's different work methods, and at these facilities, patient waiting times are longer. As from this week, pharmacy and clinical staff at facilities where patients collect medication parcels will receive training to improve the understanding of the relevant procedures and protocols.
The Expanded Public Works Programme data collectors have contributed significantly to collate information about queries from the more than 30 facilities. Each query report has been recorded and investigated, and reports drafted to managers and facilities within prescribed time frames. The majority of queries related to:
- Parcels expected, but not delivered:
- 1 871 in May.
- 1 614 in June.
- Medicines missing from parcel - this relates to the data imports from the previous service provider and is expected to be resolved by the end of July.
The service provider has been penalised for poor service delivery, based on performance in April and May 2012 in terms of the current contract.