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Medication Handling: Security and Disposal

Security For Prescription Drugs
Store all prescription drugs (including samples) and prescription pads in a secured area with controlled access in order to minimize the risk of theft or unauthorized use.

Security For Controlled Substances

  • Keep DEA ordering forms and controlled substances in a secure and locked area. Limit access to these forms and drugs to specific staff selected by management.
  • Maintain a record of the date, name, strength, and amount of controlled drugs ordered.
  • Keep a dispensing record that includes date, patient name, drug name and strength of drug, amount dispensed, physician name, and name and signature of person who dispensed the drug.
  • Take inventory at regular intervals and resolve discrepancies between the inventory record and the dispensing record.

Disposal Of Prescription Drugs

  • Check prescription drugs periodically for expiration. Remove expired drugs from stock.
  • Check package insert or Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for any special disposal requirements. Document how expired drugs are disposed of after removal from stock (e.g., biohazard bag, returned to pharmaceutical rep, etc.).

Disposal Of Hazardous Drugs

  • Special handling may be required for toxins, biological and cytotoxic drugs. As above, check the MSDS and have proper disposal containers available. Write a policy for disposal of these hazardous substances.
  • Appoint one staff person to have overall responsibility for ensuring proper disposal of expired medications.

Reference: COLA's Accreditation Manual for Medical Practices. COLA is an accreditation agency recognized by JCAHO and NCQA.

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