FEATURE: The Rules of Medication Preparation

Rancho Bernardo Surgery Center makes medication preparation a constant area of focus, says Stephanie McIntosh, RN, administrator for the San Diego, California-based ASC. “Keeping it at the forefront of everyone’s mind is what keeps us vigilant with following regulations and proper practices.”

That needs to be the mindset of an ASC or mistakes are likely to occur, says Marcia Patrick, RN, a Tacoma, Washington-based infection prevention and control consultant and surveyor for the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a long list of outbreaks that can be attributed to unsafe medication preparation practices. This is an area ASCs must be concerned about because of the potential for direct patient harm, such as transmission of infectious diseases.”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and accreditation surveyors also closely scrutinize the area of medication preparation, says Alyssa Whitmore, ASC account manager for Lake Forest, Illinoisbased PharMEDium, a provider of pharmacy-outsourced, ready-to-use sterile compounded preparations. “In most instances, if you are not following the standards and nationally recognized guidelines for safe injection practices, surveyors will definitely cite you.”