Thursday, June 15, 2017
VA Facility Hid Sterile Compounding Violations
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A pharmacy manager at a Veterans Administration hospital in Louisiana failed to tell his superiors and colleagues that state inspectors had found multiple violations in the compounding of sterile drugs and that he had surrendered a state license to avoid possible administrative action.
A report issued today by the VA's Inspector General also found that there were continuing serious violations of sterility standards at the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport.
As a result of the findings,sterile drug compounding for patients at the 103 bed facility have been outsourced to other VA and private pharmacies.
The IG found a lack of proper cleaning with cleaning logs for some days left blank. They also found "very limited" sampling of surfaces in sterile compounding areas, no viable air sampling and lack of compliance with the national standards set by a national agency, the U.S. Pharmacopeia.
Still other deficiencies include a lack of training of personnel and deficient documentation of competencies.
The IG did state that a review of patient records turned up no evidence that they were harmed by the deficient practices.
The report noted that many of the same deficiencies had been cited by the Louisiana Pharmacy Board in late 2016. The report, however, did not make its way to the pharmacy manager's superiors.
"Despite the critical nature of the board's findings, pharmacy managers did not report the October and January inspection reports showing deficiencies to either facility or VA leaders," the report states.
Other critical findings from the IG included a critical air filter that hadn't been changed since 2012, a technician not following sterile protocol and rust and/or debris observed on benches and equipment in sterile areas.