Proper handling of hazardous drugs (HDs) is an emerging topic in healthcare settings across the country. To reduce safety risks, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) released General Chapter 800, a new regulation designed to promote patient health, worker safety and address environmental concerns.
This initiative will be implemented at Kaleida Health starting February 4, 2020, and training was assigned on Talent Management on December 30, 2019 for those who will be affected by this change. This requirement applies to all healthcare workers who handle HDs, from the initial delivery of the drug to the facility through the administration and disposal. It will be the responsibility of all personnel to understand the fundamental practices and precautions to prevent harm to patients, minimize exposure to personnel, and minimize contamination of work and patient-care environment. While the potential for exposure of the other personnel to these products is very low, it is important to know how your role may be impacted. Refer to chart below to review your role:
Hazardous drugs are categorized into three groups by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):
- non anti-neoplastics
- reproductive-only hazards
Personal protective equipment (PPE) will vary based on the HD group, the activity being performed and the formulation of the HD. Both clinical and nonclinical staff can experience unintended exposure when touching contaminated surfaces, when performing wound care, cleaning dust or spills, or when involved in the disposal of these substances.
Consider some of the ways to help avoid exposure and cross contamination:
- Do not wear contaminated gloves to use the phone, type on a computer, program IV pumps, open doors or cabinets, or adjust the mask on your face
- Do not reuse gloves, gowns, shoe covers or any other disposable PPE
- Do not use eyeglasses as your sole means of eye protection; use goggles or a face shield when splashing is a possibility
A link to the "KH Hazardous Drugs PPE Requirements Chart" for handling HDs as well as other resources related to this topic are available to all staff on the KaleidaScope pharmacy page and through Kaleida Links in EMR.