USAID Funds Optimize Patient Safety at LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital
A new automated system at the LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital will ensure efficient, safe and seamless administration of medication to patients.
In a bid to optimize patient safety through technological advancements in healthcare, the LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital recently launched its state-of-the-art medication dispensing system thanks to a generous grant from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA).
The $750,000 million grant awarded to the LAU Health Foundation aims at improving patient safety in line with US standards and practices while enhancing the hospital’s staff efficiency, surgical outcomes, and cost-effectiveness. This new technology will benefit thousands of inpatients at the LAU Medical Center-RH.
As the medication management system is integrated with the hospital’s database and patients’ digital records, an individual unit-specific medication dose is automatically validated, prepared, packaged and administered with minimal staff intervention. Furthermore, the smart system, which relies on advanced automation and intelligent data analysis, will enable medication tracking through time inventory management and facilitate efficient coordination between various departments and units.
Most importantly, this technological leap in healthcare helps to reduce errors in drug preparation and dosage administration, particularly in the emergency room, intensive care unit and operating rooms where critical on-the-spot decisions need to be made. It will also streamline pharmacy management and coordination between nurses, physicians, clinicians and pharmaceutical staff.
This milestone was celebrated in an official inauguration held at the LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital, which was attended by the US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea, USAID’s incoming Mission Director for Lebanon Julie Southfield, LAU President Michel E. Mawad, CEO of the medical center Sami Rizk, LAU Vice President for Health Affairs Tony G. Zreik and Assistant to the President for Special Projects Saad El Zein, in addition to physicians, nurses, and staff of the medical center.
Mr. Rizk expressed his appreciation of ASHA’s trust in the center’s medical capabilities and vision. The medication dispensing system that so far includes 14 units in the hospital, he said, “will enable us to streamline medication dispensing, reduce errors, and significantly improve patient outcomes, modeling the American Joint Commission International (JCI) standards and best practices related to patient safety.”
Dr. Mawad took the opportunity to highlight the pivotal role USAID/ASHA’s continued support has played in fostering a center of medical excellence and innovation, reinforcing the institution’s commitment to its patients and community.
“Need I emphasize yet again the depth of our indebtedness to the American people, the American Government, USAID, ASHA, and the US Beirut Embassy for years of support through thick and thin?” he said. “This is what made us what we are today. No words of gratitude can fully convey the way we feel.”
The inauguration solidified the long-term partnership between the US, LAU and its LAU Health Foundation, which is firmly based on a mutual commitment to improve education, maintain access to high-quality healthcare services, and advance the wellbeing of Lebanese citizens, remarked Ambassador Shea.
“During the last decade,” she added, “USAID’s ASHA contribution to the LAU Health Foundation and the LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital reached a total of $5.7 million, which enabled the hospital to provide improved services in maternity, emergency medicine, critical and intensive care, and operating and surgical capacity among others.”
Indeed, the successful collaboration between USAID/ASHA, the LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital and its partners over the years to optimize healthcare and patient safety has resulted in initiatives like the Hybrid Operating Room, maternity ward enhancements, and the medication dispensing system, all of which were instrumental in driving the hospital’s commitment to excellence.