An automated pharmacy robot system, the i.v.STATION® ONCO, has been launched in the National Center for Cancer Care and Research. The automated robotic system is designed for compounding sterile intravenous cancer therapies. It represents an advanced approach to ensuring safe, accurate, efficient, cost-effective and ready-toadminister intravenous admixtures. This advanced technology fully automates compounding of chemotherapy and other hazardous drugs. Source vials are loaded and ready-to-administer patient-specific doses are prepared completely hands-free.
The Qatar National Cancer Strategy recommended that all patients with cancer have access to a specialist nurse with experience in their disease type, and outlined the need to move from an internationally recruited workforce to one that has been trained locally. The continued success of the local training – a collaborative effort between Hamad and the University of Calgary – Qatar, resulted in an additional five Masters in Nursing students graduating and returning to practice as Intern Clinical Nurse Specialists in February 2016. These graduates bring the total number of Clinical Nurse Specialists for cancer to 14.
Cancer care is increasingly delivered to patients in an ambulatory setting. One of the enablers to this practice is for patients to have Central Venous Access Devices (CVADs) placed for the duration of their treatment. The placement of a CVAD requires a minor surgical procedure, and once placed, the patient can have blood extraction and infusions through the device, reducing the potential trauma to patients’ veins. Previously, patients requiring this procedure were admitted to NCCCR and transferred to Hamad General Hospital for the procedure before returning to NCCCR to be discharged. The team at NCCCR worked with the vascular surgery team to dedicate a theater list at NCCCR for CVAD placement, which removed the need for the patient to travel between the hospital sites. This initiative has resulted in a shorter length of stay for patients and improved patient safety and experience.