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Pharmacy Facility, Equipment & Supply Requirements

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

If you work as a pharmacist, then you know how important it is to take good care of your facilities, equipment, and supply. This lesson provides an overview of many of the basic requirements you should adhere to.

Understanding Major Requirements

Rosa has been working as a pharmacist for many years, and she recently got promoted to an administrative and supervisory position within her hospital.

In her new position, Rosa knows that she will be responsible for ensuring that her pharmacy complies with a lot of external requirements for safety and legality.

Some of the associations Rosa is thinking about include:

  • TJC, or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations;
  • USP, the United States Pharmacopeia, which tracks and ensures the safety of medications that are prescribed in this country; and
  • BOP, the Boards of Pharmacy, which exists in every state to protect the safety of patients who use pharmacies.

Rosa learns about the requirements each of these organizations sets forth, and she believes that they will play a significant role in helping her help her patients.

Facility Requirements

First, Rosa puts together a list of the requirements for her pharmacy facility, or the actual place where the pharmacy is. She understands that specific requirements might vary somewhat from one state to another, so she recommends that each pharmacist get to know the requirements in their state. TJC keeps a compendium of state requirements on their website.

In general, facility requirements are oriented toward managing accidental exposure to toxins, having safe and appropriate ways to dispose of and remove hazardous drug waste, and appropriate, safe storage of all medications and supplies.

Pharmacies are required to maintain material safety data sheets, or documents that track all potentially hazardous chemicals stored on their premises.

TJC recommends that pharmacies store internal and external medications separately from each other, and have space on shelves to separately store hazardous drugs, such as those used in oncology.

These are supposed to be stored at or below eye level. Requirements also stipulate that all hazardous drugs must be adequately labeled in the facility.

Facility requirements further state that any substances that could be flammable get stored in a cool location, and Rosa ensures that they are properly ventilated.

Equipment and Supply Requirements

Next, Rosa starts researching the requirements associated with pharmacy equipment, meaning the various tools that she and other pharmacy staff use over the course of their day. Equipment includes technology as well, and Rosa understands that this aspect has become increasingly significant.

First of all, Rosa knows that requirements stipulate the importance of safety equipment, such as:

  • covers for head, hair, and shoes
  • protection for eyes and face
  • respirators and surgical masks depending on what chemicals are being handled
  • disposable gowns that protect workers from spills and splashes of waste or hazardous drugs
  • gloves that are labeled as ASTM-tested

Other equipment requirements include access to a working and dedicated phone line, as well as email and internet access. Rosa's pharmacy must have appropriate containers for storing and dispensing medication, as well as child-resistant closures to put on medications as they are being dispensed.

Rosa understands the importance of equipment that allows her to appropriately label medications with high quality and durable printing. Her pharmacy must also have a strong pharmaceutical quality refrigerator.

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