Hospitals often rely on outside vendors to provide anticipatory supplies of compounded sterile preparations, yet these entities are held to inconsistent and often inadequate safety standards based on their home state of operation. The benefits of outsourcing can be felt in several ways, including extended beyond-use dating that reduces waste, labeling improvements that reduce medication errors, and enabling pharmacy staff to provide hands-on patient care rather than mixing CSPs.
However, without rigid, consistent safety standards, tragedies such as the recent NECC outbreak may continue to occur. This article provides an overview of sterile compounding considerations, how hospitals can properly vet outside vendors, and current federal legislation aimed at improving patient safety.
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