Infusion provider goes high tech

Saturday, March 31, 2007

PENSACOLA, Fla. - After a two-year stint in cramped hospital quarters, Sacred Heart Home Care IV Infusion Pharmacy moved into a state-of-the-art facility in February.
The new 1,600-square-foot pharmacy meets the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 797 safety standards, with a clean room for compounding respiratory medications, TPNs and other customized preparations. Additionally, there is a negative pressure room for mixing chemotherapy drugs.
After Hurricane Ivan displaced Sacred Heart in 2004, the provider was forced to share space and equipment with the hospital's onsite pharmacy. But in designing its new location, Sacred Heart sought to move ahead of the competition. Compliance with the USP guidelines, updated in 2004, is not required of pharmacies, although it is expected to be in the future.
Providing a controlled environment just makes sense, said Madelyn Mayor, manager, business and programs development.
"It's safer for the patient and the employees who are compounding the drugs," said Mayor. "Especially with the chemotherapy drugs, it's very toxic. With most hospitals, they just have hoods and all of this is escaping into the environment."
Sacred Heart worked with architects and engineers who had experience in the compliance standards. Mayor said the renovations cost $200,000 and another $100,000 was spent on dual mobile isolation chambers.
"We learned a valuable lesson with Hurricane Ivan," said Mayor. "If other bad storms come through, we can continue compounding in the event of an emergency."
The pharmacy serves about 50 patients each month and is part of the Sacred Heart Health System, which includes a homecare division featuring HME, respiratory, skilled nursing and rehab. In addition to that built-in referral network, Mayor has targeted physician groups and case managers at area hospitals.