Helping children grow The role of a pharmacy technician in growth hormone distribution at the Royal Childrens Hospital

  • Rowe, R.  Pharmacy Department, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Vic

    Background:Growth hormone (GH) distribution is a centralised process, primarily coordinated by the Commonwealth Department of Health.  Before individual patients receive their GH, a large amount of communication needs to occur between everyone involved, including regulatory authorities, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, nurses and pharmacists. A pharmacy technician can assist in streamlining this process. 

    Aim: To describe the pharmacy technician's role in the distribution of GH at the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH)

    Method: The pharmacy technician receives notification from Canberra of expected deliveries.GH is delivered to RCH Pharmacy Department after individual patients approval has been granted by the Commonwealth Department of Health, with paperwork which requires a faxed reply in return. The pharmacy technician then sorts, packages and labels it for specific patients.  The pharmacy technician then files the paperwork for auditing purposes by Canberra.

    Results: The involvement of a pharmacy technician in the distribution of GH has led to the technician becoming the centralised contact person within the hospital for GH.

    Various roles include management and liaison with: 

    •   the specialised nurse
    •   pharmaceutical companies
    •   authorities in Canberra
    •   outpatient pharmacists

    Conclusion: The involvement of a pharmacy technician has reduced supply problems and allowed pharmacists more time for clinical activities.  Furthermore, the expanded role of the pharmacy technician is greatly appreciated by the specialist nurse, pharmacists, parents and patients who now receive their medication in a streamlined manner.