Attendant to this time of year is the wealth of information we receive regarding pharmacy compounding practices and the devices and controls that enable this essential health care practice. Combining the results of our annual State of Pharmacy Automation survey (see our August issue) with this year’s USP <797> Compliance Study performed by CriticalPoint (see the supplement to this issue), we are given a keen insight into current practices, as well as areas that require improvement.
Attaining perfection in the pharmacy cleanroom is, like all such endeavors, impossible, but this reality should serve to inspire its pursuit nonetheless. As proposed USP <800> awaits its final form, we can be sure further safety and compliance measures will be put forth to secure and optimize the handling and processing of hazardous medications.
The key to addressing the tenets of USP <797> and proposed <800> often is found in the mind-set taken by the pharmacy. If such efforts are seen as a chore, rather than an opportunity for improvement, then the environment is unlikely to significantly change for the better. Pharmacists tend to apply great attention to detail and although the demands on a pharmacy director are sometimes substantial, focusing on the building blocks—a strong foundation—only helps reduce the impact of downstream challenges.
Whether the pharmacy is updating or building new compounding areas, or maximizing existing space and technology, incorporating current and established best practices into the process only will serve to benefit the continuum of patient care, as well as engender safety, efficiency, and accountability among staff.
We hope you take some time to review the findings in this issue’s supplement—Cleanrooms & Compounding. We think they provide valuable insight and benchmarking information that can help drive process improvement. Pharmacy directors are well aware of the persistent obstacles presented by today’s health care demands; PP&P hopes to help in clearing the way.
All the best,
R. Mitchell Halvorsen
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