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The pharmacy team in a Scrabble costume.

The 20 things you didn't know about our pharmacy

For 20 years, Holland Bloorview's pharmacy has worked hard to develop and advance their services within and beyond the hospital’s walls.

They manage medications for our inpatients, provide services to several outpatient clinics, teach the next generation of healthcare professionals in pediatric rehabilitation, and are key playerclinical drug research studies.

Holland Bloorview’s pharmacy team has embraced the integration of technology and innovation into the work they do, in order to lead the way to guarantee safe and effective outcomes for our clients and families.

So to celebrate the pharmacy’s 20th anniversary we thought it was only fitting to share 20 amazing facts about this unique hospital service!

1. Yes, there is an on-site pediatric pharmacy!

For those who didn’t know, we have an inpatient pharmacy located on the lower level of the building.

2. And, as mentioned, they’re celebrating the big 2-0!

They were established in 1999 and started with a team of three. Since then they’ve grown to a team of nine!

3. The dispensary is run by a super team of registered pharmacy technicians.

They make sure the right drug, at the right dose, gets to the right patient, at the right time!

4. The team serves all three of the hospital’s inpatient units.

You can often find our clinical pharmacists on the floors providing pharmaceutical care.

5. They also supply the dental clinic with medication for surgeries.

6. They serve approximately 200 outpatients a year.

They currently provide clinical services to the psychopharmacology clinic, as well as specialized medications to clients from the neuromuscular clinic.

7. Can you believe they give out more than 218,000 individual doses per year?!

8. They can adjust dosage forms for each client’s needs.

When appropriate, the pharmacy can change medications into liquid form using special compounding formulations.

9. More than 39,500 individually drawn oral dose syringes are prepared each year.

In pediatric medicine, therapy is modified based on weight, so standard commercial doses aren’t always suitable.

10.  They’re ranked in the top 5% of Canada’s hospitals for technology adoption.

In 2004, Holland Bloorview became one of the first hospitals in Canada to have a comprehensive electronic medication system. This includes a computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) and an electronic medication administration record (eMAR).

11.  They have an automated tablet packager and dispenser.

The FastPak Elite—playfully nicknamed Ellie—is similar to a vending machine, where medications can be selected through a touch screen and the individual medications are then packaged for dispensing.

12.  They partnered to launch Canada’s first intensive pediatric pain program.

From its start, the pharmacy team has been involved in the Get Up and Go Persistent Pediatric Pain Service. It’s a rehabilitation program focused on helping kids and youth regain function and return to their usual activities, despite their chronic pain.

13.  The pharmacy team helped create 51 policies!

These policies are a big part of making sure we standardize safe care and quality within the hospital to keep our clients and staff safe.

14.  The pharmacists spend 480+ hours a year educating families.

A part of the pharmacist’s role at Holland Bloorview is ensuring continuity of care during a client’s transition to the community.  Giving clients and caregivers practical information on how to manage their medications at home is an important part of the work they do.

15.  They spend 175+ hours per year answering drug information questions from the healthcare team.

16.  The pharmacy team won a Patient Safety Award in 2018.

The award recognized their leadership in implementing automated dispensing cabinets on the inpatient units to manage opioids and controlled medications. Safety is embedded in everything they do!

17.  They also won the 2019 Teaching and Learning Institute Award in Excellence in Clinical Education.

The team strives to provide enriching learning opportunities, offering a student a uniquely tailored experience.

18. The pharmacy team partners with many academic faculties each year.

As a teaching pharmacy, the team truly enjoys sharing their knowledge and expertise to help train the next generation of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The pharmacy’s co-op program, for those in university or college, offers a very hands-on approach that leaves students with a wide range of experience. Students get a chance to collaborate with a broad healthcare team, help out with research projects, and interact with clients and families to work on medication plans.

19.  Did you know, about 60 percent of the hospital’s pharmacy staff are former students of Holland Bloorview?

20.  In 2012, the pharmacy established a dedicated research pharmacy.

They help support clinical drug trials with the Bloorview Research Institute including study design and review, acquisition, randomization, dispensing and compliance measurement.