NRMC Pharmacy Undergoes Cleanroom Project

6/23/2020

The Pharmacy Department at Nevada Regional Medical Center (NRMC) is one that is mostly behind-the-scenes since it does not have a retail component. However, the NRMC Pharmacy Department serves the medication needs for all inpatient and outpatient areas of the hospital, directly affecting the care of many patients. All pharmacies have standards set by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), helping to ensure quality in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing.

Four Chapters of the USP set compounding standards for pharmacy operations.  USP is in the process of finalizing these revised standards that cover non-sterile compounding, sterile compounding, handling hazardous drugs, and radiopharmaceuticals.  Most of the revisions concern facility design, environmental monitoring, personnel training and personal protective equipment. This ensures the safety of medication dispensed to patients through sterile compounding and the safety of the staff handling hazardous medications that pose a carcinogenic, reproductive, or developmental hazard such as chemotherapy. 

Director and Pharmacist, Jodee Mashek, explains that the current segregated space and mobile isolation chamber will no longer meet the specifications of the revised USP chapters. Thus, the need to create a cleanroom suite in the pharmacy facilities at NRMC.

“The changes to Chapters 797 and 800 are requiring NRMC to build both a positive pressure and negative pressure compounding room along with two new hoods. One is a biological safety cabinet for hazardous medications and the other a 'normal' laminar flow hood,” says Mashek. “These ISO-classified rooms have HEPA-filtered air, seamless walls and floors, special lighting, and specific temperature and humidity controls.  Additionally, our pharmacists will have to be fully dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE) to enter the room, some of which is not reusable upon exiting the suite.”

These updates further ensure the safety of both patient and healthcare worker, as well as keep NRMC within compliance of USP guidelines.

“We take medication safety personally.  My pharmacists and technicians were born, raised, or married into local families in Vernon County or the surrounding area.  We are connected to the patients we are treating and take the extra time to provide our best.  Some people like homegrown tomatoes; personally, I would choose my hometown pharmacy staff to oversee my hospital care!"

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About Nevada Regional Medical Center

Serving a six-county area since 1937, Nevada Regional Medical Center is a 71-bed acute, intensive and skilled care hospital. Nevada Regional Medical Center has earned recognition as a respected regional medical center for its comprehensive health care services, skilled and caring employees and state-of-the-art medical technology. Staff represent more than a dozen medical specialties, including family practice, women’s services, neurology, urology, psychiatry, orthopedics, wound care services, and general, vascular, thoracic and oncological surgery. Additionally, consultation clinics are held regularly by specialists in oncology, pulmonology, podiatry, ear, nose, and throat and cardiology.

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