The ambulatory surgery center year in review…

The ambulatory surgery center year in review…

As we approach 2020, we take a few moments to look back at some of the biggest stories impacting ambulatory surgery centers this year. Each year is extremely busy, and 2019 was no exception. Below we discuss some of the most popular topics of the year. How did we determine popularity? Simple…we decided to focus on the topics that generated the most questions. As a consultant pharmacist, I get asked daily on how best to address issues in a way that increases patient safety and reduces risks and costs. Here is a quick summary of some of the items we helped our clients with this year.

Compounded drugs: Does your facility use compounded drugs? Do you get them from an FDA registered 503B outsourcing facility? According to a report earlier this year from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, about 11% of hospitals get compounded drugs from sources that are not registered with the FDA. Take steps to protect your patients and let us help you do a proper assessment of any outsourcing facility prior to ordering products. To learn more read our blog post, “Compounded drugs”.

High-alert and hazardous medications continue to attract the attention of certification and accrediting agencies during surveys. Look-alike-sound-alike medications are those, either written or spoken, which may lead to potentially harmful errors when confused with each other. They bear a heightened risk or may cause significant patient harm and/or sentinel events when they are used in error and, as a result, require special safeguards. To learn more read our blog post, “Managing high-alert/hazardous and look-alike-sound-alike medications in ambulatory care settings

The FDA approved Eli Lilly’s Baqsimi, the first treatment for severe hypoglycemia that can be administered without an injection. As a result, we now have a new treatment available for diabetic patients who may suffer from severe hypoglycemia. This could facilitate and speed up the administration process for providers and caretakers, during a time when minutes count. To learn more read our blog post, “FDA approves Eli Lilly’s Baqsimi, the first treatment for severe hypoglycemia that can be administered without an injection

The DEA updated DEA-222 Form: Are you currently using DEA-222 forms? The new DEA-222 form is a single page, which eliminates the need for the triplicate form we are all so used to. There is a two-year transition period, and, in that time, the DEA will allow registrants to exhaust their current supply of the “old” forms. The DEA will continue to preprint forms and they will be printed on “security paper”. To learn more read our blog post, “The Updated DEA 222 Form is Coming Soon

USP Chapter 800 Update: The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) <800> standards requiring the safe handling of hazardous medications went into effect on December 1, 2019 for informational purposes only, pending the appeal of USP <795> and <797>. These standards are comprehensive and wide-ranging. They apply to all healthcare personnel who handle hazardous drugs (HDs) preparations and all entities that store, prepare, transport, or administer HDs. This includes all ambulatory healthcare facilities/surgery centers, senior care facilities and pharmacies. To learn more read our blog post, “USP Chapter 800 Update

Drug shortages: Drug shortages seem to be happening with more frequency, making it difficult for patients, prescribers and facilities. The reasons for shortages range from simple delays to manufacturing issues that can lead to complete discontinuation of some medications. Is your facility taking the necessary steps to avoid disruptions in patient care? In a recent post, we provided Ten Steps to Dealing with Drug Shortages. To learn more read our blog post, “Ten Steps to Dealing with Drug Shortages”.

As the year ends, we celebrate our successes and embrace the opportunities a new year brings. It’s always good to be proactive, and it’s never too late to make improvements. If you missed the chance to discuss any of these topics with us or would like guidance on safe medication management for the upcoming year, please contact us.


The Consultant Pharmacists at OctariusRx provide guidance on safe medication management, survey readiness and cost savings to ambulatory healthcare facilities/surgery centers, senior care facilities and pharmacies We also help individual patients optimize their medications to improve their quality of life and save money. Contact us for assistance.


Any health, medical or drug information on the Web Site is for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to be used, and you should not use it, as a substitute for obtaining professional healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor, a pharmacist or other qualified healthcare provider for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment for any medical condition.
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