Malmstrom pharmacy receives renovations
By Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
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Jessica Gaines, 341st Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician, fills a prescription using an automated drug dispensing cabinet Aug. 14, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The pharmacy received four dispensing cabinets as part of a technology upgrade in January. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam)
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New medication storage is displayed in the pharmacy Aug. 14, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Nine work stations and 12 to 13 linear feet of storage were added in the pharmacy increasing their work space by nearly 40 percent. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam)
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Medication storage prior to the July renovations are displayed July 24, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. (Courtesy photo)
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Ruby Ibarra, contract pharmacy technician, uses an upgraded computer Aug. 14, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The pharmacy received four new computers to improve efficiencies in their day-to-day tasks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam)
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. , Aug. 22, 2017 —
The base pharmacy received updates to its technology and layout in January and July to increase its efficiency and capabilities in serving Airmen and their families.
Professionals in efficiency were brought in to assess how the pharmacy completed their day-to-day tasks and how they could improve their processes.
“We did not have much counter space and we were walking around to different stations resulting in unnecessary steps and wasted time,” said Maj. Timothy Weigle, 341st Medical Support Squadron pharmacy flight commander.
Weigle and the pharmacy technicians began working with a team to design the floor plan with a goal to increase counter space and drug storage while minimizing their time walking throughout the pharmacy.
The technology renovations began in January when Weigle and his team received four automatic drug dispensing cabinets, and nine workstations and computers resulting in added safety measures while eliminating unnecessary redundancies.
“Safety is our main concern,” Weigle said. “We cannot trump safety for speed.”
At the end of July, 12 to 13 linear feet of storage was placed in the pharmacy, increasing their workspace by nearly 40 percent according to Weigle.
“The medications are more organized, there is less clutter on the countertops, and everything is more modernized and convenient,” Weigle said. “It all allows us to serve our patient population better and we’re still looking for ways to improve in the future.”
Jessica Gaines, 341st MDSS pharmacy technician, has been working at the pharmacy for 11 years and said the upgrades have been beneficial.
“There was a lot of shelving we had to walk through and around to get to the back for medication refills, but now it is all one big central assembly,” Gaines said. “It is more central and it has helped with teamwork and communication.”
“It is still fairly new so we’re still figuring out where the best place for everything is, but it has been better,” Gaines continued.
Weigle said they will be working the new process for a few months before bringing in another professional in efficiency to re-examine their processes and find more efficient ways to accomplish the mission.
Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Malmstrom Air Force Base website.