School of Pharmacy at University College Cork

The School of Pharmacy at University College Cork (UCC) and Irish-owned company, Leading Edge Group have launched a new initiative to deliver a new educational and consulting programme to all pharmacies across the South/South West Hospital Group.

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Professor John Higgins, UCC, Joe Ahern, CEO Leading Edge Group, Deirdre Lynch, Chief Pharmacy Department CUH, Caroline Reidy, Pfizer Health Care Ireland, Professor Stephen Byrne, Head of School of Pharmacy UCC and Pat Field, Pfizer Manufacturing Ireland at the launch of the centre of excellence project in UCC

The programme aims to educate and empower pharmacists and pharmaceutical technicians in the use of techniques and methodologies that will improve pharmacy processes within hospitals and deliver better patient care.

Prof. Stephen Byrne, Head of School of Pharmacy and Chair of Clinical Pharmacy Practice at University College Cork emphasised the significance and importance of the Lean programme.

Byrne said, “This is the inaugural partnership between the School of Pharmacy, UCC, the Academic Health Centre and the Leading Edge Group. The School of Pharmacy will work with the Leading Edge Group and project teams in a mentoring capacity, with the aim of publishing case reports on the success of such implementations. We are proud to be the first healthcare group working collaboratively in Pharmacy to improve patient care using an integrated Lean approach.”

The Leading Edge Group has successfully worked with the Pharmacy Department at University Hospital Galway and recently embarked on a 6-month pharmacy project with the Northern Health Authority in British Columbia, Canada.


Joe Aherne, CEO, Leading Edge Group said, “Our results in Canada and Ireland to date have been really impressive. Improvements have incorporated reduced times to fill orders; reductions in cycle times for managing returns of unused medicines; time spent by pharmacists checking and correcting medication orders and paperwork and standardisation of core processes across pharmacies. We have seen a paradigm shift in Pharmacy through the adoption of a culture of continuous improvement.”

Joseph Johnston

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