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News Release - Manitoba

November 8, 2013

Cancer Patient Safety Enhanced Through Innovative Drug Dispensing Technology

Faster, Safer Equipment to Benefit Patients: Minister

Patient safety has been significantly enhanced at CancerCare Manitoba as leading-edge robotic technology is now being used to prepare chemotherapy drugs quickly and safely, Health Minister Erin Selby announced today.

The new machine, known as RIVA (robotic IV automations system), a fully automated IV compounding system produced by Winnipeg-based Intelligent Hospital Systems, mixes chemotherapy drugs with repetitive motions.

“With this new technology, we’re ensuring we will continue to be a leader in making patient safety priority number one,” said the minister.  “RIVA will free up medical staff to focus on other patient issues that will make a real difference in their cancer journey.”

CancerCare Manitoba has the only RIVA in the province and the third in the country.  The RIVA has been installed at major hospitals in the United States, Australia and Asia.

“CancerCare Manitoba is delighted to have this cutting-edge technology now available to us,” said Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, chief executive officer, CancerCare Manitoba.  “The safe, rapid preparation of cancer drugs through the RIVA system will improve efficiency and speed up care to benefit all cancer patients.”

The RIVA can prepare chemotherapy doses at a faster rate than manual mixing, increasing efficiency and reducing the potential for repetitive strain injuries for pharmacy staff mixing drugs for extended periods of time.

“This is a unique opportunity consistent with our mission to put donor dollars to work to the greatest benefit of cancer patients in Manitoba,” said Annitta Stenning, executive director, CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

The robot also undertakes multiple checks to ensure dose accuracy during the mixing of the drugs and facilitates the tracking of drug lot numbers and expiry dates.

“It is certainly a pleasure to be in a position to deliver RIVA, a fully automated IV compounding system that supports a world-class standard in hospital pharmacy safety,” said Dr. Niels Erik Hansen, president and CEO of Intelligent Hospital Systems.  “RIVA provides an important safeguard for patient care when there is simply no room for error, by not only reducing the risk of medication error and contamination, but also reducing the chance of exposure for hospital employees.”

The province invested $1.25 million into this state-of-the-art technology that will not only improve patient safety but ensure those that administer these cancer drugs are kept safe as well, the minister said.

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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of CancerCare Manitoba and the Government of Manitoba.