If yours is like most medical offices, there’s no doubt a closet full of sample medications lurking inside. These blister packs and bottles can quickly stack up, leading to the main danger of a disorganized medicine closet: expired medications. Don’t run the risk of these hazards ending up in patients’ hands. Keep your closet safe and organized in four simple steps.
1. Schedule a Time for a Cleanup
Physicians appreciate samples because they can be given to patients to determine their effectiveness, without a cost burden for the patient. But many samples go unused and expire, and doctor’s offices can become so busy that everyday cleaning and maintenance tasks are forgotten. The best solution is to set a designated time to organize samples. Use this time to separate similar-sounding and -looking medicines, and to throw out all expired samples.
2. Appoint a Closet Czar
Someone in the office needs to oversee sample medications and keep them from piling up, so make it official by assigning the task to one person. He or she should also check expiration dates, maintain distribution papers in case there is a recall, and keep the medicines secured.
3. Keep Drug Reps Out of the Closet
Allowing pharmaceuatical drug reps to put medicines in your closet can spell trouble. What if they take something without permission or remove competitors’ samples? Always have a staff member available when drug reps arrive. To avoid being overwhelmed, limit the number of reps allowed per day. And if the samples in your closet are beyond capacity, make it a policy to refuse taking any new ones.
4. Follow a Disposal Procedure for Unwanted Meds
To keep your office compliant, pharmaceutical waste must be disposed of properly, including specific segregation, packaging, labeling and paperwork. Remember, flushing medicines down the toilet or drain is strictly prohibited in Arizona without specific permission from the municipality treating your wastewater. Comprehensive medical waste disposal companies like US Bio-Clean provide the technical expertise, guidance and resources to make disposal of pharmaceutical waste simple and fully compliant.