Employee Safety Is as Important as Patient Safety

June 2014 - Vol.11 No. 6 - Page #1

As most of you know, The United States Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) is in the public review stages for the introduction of USP General Chapter <800> Hazardous Drugs—Handling in Healthcare Settings. With comments being accepted until July 31st of this year, there is still time for you to review the materials and weigh in. As this new chapter is poised for release, we cannot help but think back to when another USP chapter was introduced, as well as the somewhat lukewarm reception it initially received—USP General Chapter <797>. Although <797> has been around now for several years, it was a long time before the chapter was widely adopted (some facilities still struggle to meet <797> mandated actions), and there were some practitioners who outright disagreed with the concepts therein.  

In the last fifteen years, the increasingly automated practice of hospital pharmacy has negotiated numerous changes in regulatory statutes and government oversight, spikes in drug pricing and drug shortages, and increasingly complex and potent medication combinations. However, one very promising element that can be tied directly to the successful management of these developments is a perpetual focus not only on patient safety, but also on employee safety.

At Pharmacy Purchasing & Products, we know as well as you do that the practice of hospital pharmacy is not simplistic or easy. There are often grave responsibilities associated with institutional pharmacy and it requires employees with the skills, drive, and aptitude to maintain a perpetually high standard of practice. While there are many reasons to be proud of the work you do as a hospital pharmacy director, there is perhaps none greater than caring for and having a genuine respect for your staff—the very people enabling the proper care of patients.

It is our hope that hospital pharmacy will be quick to embrace the proposed tenets of USP <800> and realize the inherent value in such adoption. The significant work that you do to enable health care to grow depends on the health, drive, and ambition of all pharmacy practitioners. Thus, their protection is also of the highest order.

All the best,
R. Mitchell Halvorsen

PS: PP&P would like to take this opportunity to congratulate a pair of winners from recent PP&P survey sweepstakes—Lisa Karlin, RPh, and Doug Meyer, RPh. 

As the randomly selected winner of our 2013 Survey Participation Grand Prize, Doug, director of pharmacy at Pratt Regional Medical Center in Pratt, Kansas, received five pairs of Beats wireless headphones to distribute among his staff. 

As the randomly selected winner of our Going Green survey sweepstakes, Lisa, director of pharmacy at Rooks County Health Center in Plainville, Kansas, received a Nikon Coolpix digital camera. Congratulations, Lisa and Doug! Please keep an eye out for the next PP&P survey and you could be our next big winner!


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