Flightmed archive for September-2001
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Flightmed archive for September-2001

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Medications - lock and restock

Valued colleagues:

Anticipating the arrival of the JCAHO examiners, our hospital-based flight service has come under new scrutiny for our approach to storage, transport, and restocking of medications.

Our narcotic system is acceptable - we have a double locked safe in our rooftop vestibule. However, our pharmacy has a degree of concern about the remainder of our meds. 

We currently use the Thomas pack medication bag for a majority of our drugs. This bag is secured with a tamper-resistant tag and that tag's number is recorded in a log book. When we use (non-scheduled) medications, we replenish the bag from the SureMed (a Pyxis-type of decentralized system) in the ER, retag, and are ready to go. 

We have a similar system for a second med kit (stuff that is used less frequently and is stored in the ship), a refrigerated meds bag,  and a cardiac med kit (you can never have enough drugs!). We have a Thomas bag med kit in each of four Thomas packs (one for the ship, three spares).

It's been suggested that maybe we should bring the medication kit(s) directly to pharmacy every time we use something,  and have them refill the bag (perhaps receive a pre-filled spare bag instead of waiting around)  in place of our existing system.

We've been reluctant to give up the current system unless it was clear that the hospital would run afoul of the regulators on our account.

Therefore, we seek your guidance and input.

(Sorry for the long post)   

Paul Hudson, Flight Paramedic
Life Flight, Des Moines 

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