A plan to relocate the pharmacy department at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital is moving ahead, according to an Interior Health Authority official.
Todd Mastel, the Director of Business Support with IHA, told the regional hospital district board that a report has identified space in the existing kitchen and cafeteria area that can be renovated to serve as the new pharmacy space.
“What we’re doing now, is we’ve awarded a design contract for a new pharmacy on that ward, the northwest corner o the structure,” Mastel told the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board. “The schematic design, the initial stage of the design, will look at a full pharmacy relocation to that area.”
The $1.4 million project has a May 2020 deadline, as existing standards for mixing and compounding in the current pharmacy space will not meet new national standards that are set to go into force next year.
“The detailed design, at least at this stage, will focus on the compounding and mixing stage only, to address the coming national standards,” Mastel added.
The master plan also looked at what space is available for expansion of oncology, dialysis and laboratory services, however, given the deadline for the incoming national standards, the pharmacy took highest priority.
Dean McKerracher, the mayor of Elkford and the chair of the KERHD, said he is happy to see the project move forward.
“At least we’re starting,” said McKerracher, after the meeting. “It’s not the four projects that we thought would happen; all along they’ve been telling me and our board that it’s probably only going to be two projects, but at the end of the day, the four is still in the line.”
There are options identified by the consultant for the other three priorities — oncology, dialysis, and the microbiology laboratory — however, it will likely involve an expanded footprint for the building, likely in the northern side of the facility, while the roof of the new ICU could also be utilized.