12 Nov Eliminating plastic bags from the pharmacy journey
The Monash Medical Centre Pharmacy Project, which endeavoured to eliminate plastic bags from the pharmacy journey has been a great success. Monash Medical Centre processes approximately 25,400 discharge prescriptions, 25,000 outpatient prescriptions and 20,150 non-imprest items annually. This is over 45,000 bags for prescriptions alone. Up until July 2019 all involved the use of plastic bags.
Patients presenting to outpatient pharmacy were surveyed and were supportive of the change from plastic to paper or reusable bags.
Reusable satchels were sourced for the supply of non-imprest medicines, and paper bags utilised for the supply of medicines to patients on discharge and presentation to outpatient pharmacy.
In the month of July 2019, almost 4,000 patients received outpatient and discharge medications, and almost 900 bags of non-imprest medicines were supplied to the wards using alternative means.
Through collaboration with stakeholders, this endeavor has eliminated almost 4,900 bags from going into landfill in one month. Over one year, this small change will eliminate the use of nearly 59,000 plastic bags, and help reduce our carbon footprint. Congratulations to the Monash Medical Centre Pharmacy team for this incredible achievement.