Category: Federal Forum Posters
Purpose: The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has updated and standardized the safe practice of medication procurement and handling to decrease exposure to hazardous drugs (HD) through USP 800. These updates have drastically changed the practice for not only the pharmacy community but also other health professions such as nursing. A competency fair provided for nursing staff at the VA Black Hills Healthcare System (VA BHHCS) was developed to ensure nurses are provided with the knowledge and resources needed to be compliant with the new recommendations.
Methods: The USP 800 competency fair was developed for nurses as mandatory training on compliance with USP 800 changes. The previous 2018 USP 800 competency fair was viewed as time consuming to complete. The goal of the 2019 competency fair was to streamline the project with the focus of the fair included topics such as: USP 800 overview, occupational health resources, identifying HD labels, demonstrating knowledge of personal protective equipment, identifying proper disposal of HD, and demonstrating proper responses to HD spills. An interdisciplinary approach with aid from industrial health, waste management, employee health, education, pharmacy, and nursing was used to develop the competency fair’s schedule, topics, and presentations. Poster boards with USP 800 information were developed as visual aids to facilitate discussion and learning and updated equipment for USP 800 compliance such as pill crushers, medication mixing devices, and syringes were utilized as demonstration tools. Nurses were expected to attend one of several competency fairs and provide satisfactory performance on all the competency requirements to become fully trained on USP 800 updates. The attendees were requested to provide feedback on the competency fair’s efficiency and usefulness of provided information.
Results: Upon completion of the 2019 competency fairs, it was noted that participation was consistent from 2018 to 2019 with approximately 200 attendees each year. The average amount of time the competency fair took to complete decreased by approximately 75% even with the same amount of posters and presentations attendees were required to complete during the 2018 and 2019 fairs. In 2018 the average time to completion was approximately 60 minutes and the 2019 fair was estimated to take approximately 20 minutes. Additionally, feedback and overall knowledge of USP800 was noted to be much improved from 2018 to 2019.
Conclusion: The efforts put forth during the 2018 competency fairs was realized during the 2019 fairs as the presentations changed to a discussion and review about the updates and changes for 2019. This showed the baseline knowledge that was gained during the 2018 competency fairs was carried throughout the year. The interdisciplinary team work and provision of education and resources exemplified the VA BHHCS culture of maintaining a safe and efficient work environment for employees and patients.