Pharmacy is a highly regulated industry within healthcare. Every pharmacy must follow a myriad of regulations, statutes, and guidelines from multiple agencies. Place that pharmacy within a hospital and there are even more regulations and guidelines to follow. How is your facility doing when it comes to compliance? All medication management accountability falls under the pharmacist in charge (PIC), but all PICs know it feels out of their control once the medication leaves the pharmacy department. Compliance should be consistent, but the truth is it can be very dynamic. One variable is how thorough the policies and procedures are at a facility to address compliance. Have risk assessments been done and did those assessments drive change toward compliance? Were all disciplines engaged in the assessments and were they honest so areas of vulnerability were discovered and addressed? Another variable is how seriously all disciplines adhere to the policies and procedures that have been set into place to ensure compliance. All healthcare providers must understand the need for compliance.

Moving forward, statutes, regulations and guidelines will be collectively referred to as “restrictions” because let’s be honest, that is what they feel like sometimes. While occasionally one may find a restriction that seems purposeless, the majority are there for one main reason. Improved safety. Safety for the patient and healthcare provider/staff. A facility that follows these restrictions, will also improve safety for the facility as a by product of ensured patient and staff safety.

What are the risks of non-compliance to all the “restrictions”? Patient harm is the ultimate risk. There is also the risk of harm to staff and ultimately harm to the facility in the form of financial ramifications. The financial ramifications can come from fines imposed by regulatory agencies, lawsuits filed by injured parties, and loss of business due to a marred reputation. While ensuring the facility has a comprehensive compliance program in place can be costly, the cost is far greater for facilities that lack a program.

Our pharmacy consultants at Rxpert Solutions can help you review your risk and recommend solutions. Rxpert Solutions can also assist you in correcting deficiencies identified during a survey.