Most aspects of our lives are governed by rules and regulations that must be followed. Whether it’s driving a car or paying taxes, individuals are expected to abide by these laws for their safety, as well as the safety of others.
Similarly, healthcare facilities must also maintain compliance with standards to ensure the safety of staff and patients. One such regulation is the USP <800> hazardous drugs standards, which we’ll review with our guide on what it is and its role in healthcare safety.
What Is the Purpose of USP <800>?
So, exactly what is the purpose of USP <800>? It relates to hazardous drugs and their handling. Any drug that creates traits in humans or animals that show signs of carcinogenicity, developmental toxicity, reproductive toxicity, genotoxicity, or organ toxicity at low doses is considered hazardous. Any newly created drug that has a similar structure to an already existing hazardous drug is also regarded as dangerous.
As you can imagine, hazardous drugs must be handled with extreme caution. But, how often do individuals interact with such dangerous substances? It’s more often than you think.
Around eight million healthcare personnel are exposed to these hazardous drugs annually—that’s almost as many people as there are in New York City. Countless occupations, from pharmacy personnel to physician assistants and even veterinary care workers, are among those that come in contact with hazardous medication. For that reason, the USP <800> hazardous drug standards were created. By following the established safety standards, exposure to these drugs can be reduced or eliminated, and people will be less at risk of developing an illness.
An Overview of the USP 800 Standards
Okay, so what are the USP <800> hazardous drug standards? They’re outlined in the USP’s General Chapter 800, and they review all the different ways an individual can be exposed to hazardous drugs. This includes their transport, spilling, dispensation, disposal, and more. By identifying instances where exposure can occur, healthcare staff can be more proactive in safety and preventative measures—of which there are many.
During potential exposure, hazardous drug handlers must take extra precautions to ensure the environment is controlled. For example, the drugs must be unpacked in a neutral area rather than sterile compounding or positive pressure areas. Additionally, General Chapter 800 details the personal protective equipment staff must wear, such as chemotherapy gloves, disposable gowns, and more. The standards also cover what must be done if the substances are spilled or come into contact with the skin.
It’s worth noting that the USP <800> hazardous drug standards apply to all healthcare personnel who prepare, receive, transport, or administer the drug or who enter locations where these drugs are utilized. As a result, it’s important for all personnel who handle or might encounter the drug to read General Chapter 500. Furthermore, facilities must participate in environmental wipe sampling at least twice yearly to detect drug residue as a preventative measure.
How MedTrainer Can Help With USP <800> Hazardous Drugs
It goes without saying that there are many USP <800> hazardous drug standards that healthcare organizations must follow. Managing this long checklist is easier said than done, as is putting your already busy healthcare personnel through training. And yet, remaining compliant is of utmost importance for the safety of both your staff and patients.
However, with our help, remaining compliant with USP <800> hazardous drug standards can be easier than ever. MedTrainer offers a USP <800> Toolkit for healthcare facilities to use, making documentation and procedures a breeze. Additionally, we offer a variety of other helpful programs, including our credentialing management software. For more information, give us a call today and schedule a demo.