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Efforts to modernize Eglin pharmacy begins

Pharmacy changes

96th Test Wing and Medical Group leadership joined builders, and other medical personnel in a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 6 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The ceremony marks the start of renovations to modernize and expand Eglin hospital’s three pharmacies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

Pharmacy changes

Tech. Sgt. Luis Alvarado Botello, 96th Medical Group, briefs Col. Timothy Beers, 96th Test Wing vice commander, on the satellite pharmacy’s capabilities Nov. 2 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The hospital, inpatient, and satellite pharmacies serve more than 117,000 area beneficiaries making it the Air Force’s third busiest pharmacy program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 96th Medical Group held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of pharmacy renovations here Nov. 6.

The renovations will modernize the hospital’s three pharmacies. The hospital, inpatient, and satellite pharmacies serve more than 117,000 area beneficiaries making it the Air Force’s third busiest pharmacy program.

“Our pharmacy team is respected and trusted and they look forward to being in new facilities,” said Col. Matthew Hanson, 96th MDG commander.

The first phase of the $28 million project scheduled to be complete in Spring 2022 adds 5,000 square feet and two automated, state-of-the-art prescription refill robot units to the 40-year-old satellite pharmacy, according to Hanson.

The addition of this equipment will drive refill times from 200 prescriptions an hour to 500 an hour.

“With the improved throughput we can conceivably support the entire market,” said Hanson. “More importantly, we will refill those medications in a more-timely fashion at the same level of safety this team always provides.”

The second phase begins in February 2021 and adds 1,200 square feet to the inpatient pharmacy. The new inpatient capabilities will be critical for hospital expansion and medical readiness, according to Hanson. 

In phase three, beginning in March 2021, classrooms in the main pharmacy located in the hospital will be remodeled to improve workflow processes.

In the fourth and last phase, the 52-year-old elevators will be replaced, and several upgrades to improve the safety and performance of the facility will be completed.

In September 2021, patients can expect two additional in-take and medication pick-up windows at the main pharmacy.

During the construction, the pharmacies will operate in a location at the north end of the hospital parking lot.

“We will over-communicate to our population to ensure we provide safe, trusted care throughout the construction project. When we come out the other end, we will provide better training, we’ll have more ready medics, and the patient experience of care will be the best experience in the Department of Defense,” said Hanson.