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Hospitals foundation hopes to raise $500,000

Oct 16 2012

The Victoria Hospitals Foundation launched its fall campaign Monday with a goal of raising more than $500,000 to help with the dispensing of medication.

The plan is to buy nine specialized dispensing cabinets for the Royal Jubilee Hospital Patient Care Centre, a move that is part of a more extensive medication-safety initiative by the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Each of the cabinets serves as a "hub" that centralizes the distribution of medication with such measures as bar codes and inventory tracking.

For each patient and each type of medication, one specified cabinet door will open to an illuminated container.

The idea is to greatly reduce the chance for error.

"Our caregivers are highly skilled and follow established safety procedures," Dr. Christina Vuk-sic, VIHA's medical director for quality and patient safety, said in a statement. "But our system is complex and errors in ordering, dispensing and transcribing do occur.

"In my career, I have been that physician who has made that devastating realization that I made a mistake. I learned that 'to err is human' but to fail to learn is unforgivable."

The Victoria Hospitals Foundation works with VIHA to raise funds for Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals, and each year generates about 40 per cent of the money used for capital equipment purchases.

You can donate to the fall campaign by visiting victoriahf.ca, calling 250519-1750 or sending a cheque to the foundation at 1952 Bay St., V8R 1J8.

Funds for the fall campaign will also be raised at the annual Visions Gala Nov. 17 at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

The foundation is also continuing its Building Care Together campaign to raise $25 million for a range of equipment needed to outfit the Patient Care Centre, which opened its doors in March 2011.

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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