An employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs from Grand Junction, Colorado, Nancy Fichtner, has won the President’s SAVE Award — a contest for Federal employees to come up with the best idea to save taxpayer dollars and make the government perform more effectively and efficiently.
Fichtner was one of about 38,000 federal employees who submitted ideas for the contest according to the Office of Management and Budget.
Her idea: To allow a hospital patient to take the unused portions of medications such as ointments, inhalers, eye drops, and other bulk items home with them after discharge. Apparently, these medicines are now being thrown away in many parts of the VA system.
Patients currently are not allowed to take medicines home because they do not have adequate labeling instructions. Fichtner’s idea was to add a barcode so that one label to safely suffice for both in-hospital and at-home use.