Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 110. Board of Pharmacy
Chapter 20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Pharmacy

18VAC110-20-490. Automated devices for dispensing and administration of drugs.

A. A hospital may use automated devices for the dispensing and administration of drugs pursuant to § 54.1-3301 of the Code of Virginia and §§ 54.1-3401 and 54.1-3434.02 of the Drug Control Act and in accordance with 18VAC110-20-270, 18VAC110-20-420, or 18VAC110-20-460 as applicable.

B. Policy and procedure manual; access codes.

1. Proper use of the automated dispensing devices and means of compliance with requirements shall be set forth in the pharmacy's policy and procedure manual, which shall include provisions for granting and terminating user access.

2. Personnel allowed access to an automated dispensing device shall have a specific access code that records the identity of the person accessing the device. The device may verify access codes using biometric identification or other coded identification after the initial log-on in order to eliminate sharing or theft of access codes.

C. Distribution of drugs from the pharmacy.

1. Prior to removal of drugs from the pharmacy, a delivery record shall be generated for all drugs to be placed in an automated dispensing device. The delivery record shall include the date; drug name, dosage form, and strength; quantity; hospital unit and a unique identifier for the specific device receiving the drug; initials of the person loading the automated dispensing device; and initials of the pharmacist checking the drugs to be removed from the pharmacy and the delivery record for accuracy.

2. At the time of loading any Schedules II through V drug, the person loading will verify that the count of that drug in the automated dispensing device is correct. Any discrepancy noted shall be recorded on the delivery record and immediately reported to the pharmacist in charge, who shall be responsible for ensuring reconciliation of the discrepancy or properly reporting of a loss.

D. Distribution of drugs from the device.

1. Automated dispensing devices in hospitals shall be capable of producing a hard-copy record of distribution that shall show patient name, drug name and strength, dose withdrawn, date and time of withdrawal from the device, and identity of person withdrawing the drug. The record shall be filed in chronological order from date of issue or maintained electronically.

2. If an automated dispensing device is used to obtain drugs for dispensing from an emergency room, a separate dispensing record is not required provided the automated record distinguishes dispensing from administration and records the identity of the physician who is dispensing.

E. Discrepancy reports. A discrepancy report for all Schedules II through V drugs and any drugs of concern, as defined in § 54.1-3456.1 of the Code of Virginia, shall be generated for each discrepancy in the count of a drug on hand in the device. Each such report shall be initiated or resolved by the PIC or his designee within 72 hours of the time the discrepancy was discovered or, if determined to be a theft or an unusual loss of drugs, shall be immediately reported to the board in accordance with § 54.1-3404 E of the Drug Control Act.

F. Reviews and audits.

1. The PIC or his designee shall conduct at least a monthly review for compliance with written policy and procedures that are consistent with § 54.1-3434.02 A of the Drug Control Act for security and use of the automated dispensing devices, to include procedures for timely termination of access codes when applicable, accuracy of distribution from the device, and proper recordkeeping.

2. The PIC or his designee shall conduct at least a monthly audit to review distribution of Schedules II through V drugs from each automated dispensing device as follows:

a. The audit shall reconcile records of all quantities of Schedules II through V drugs dispensed from the pharmacy with records of all quantities loaded into each device to detect whether any drug recorded as removed from the pharmacy was diverted rather than placed in the proper device.

b. If a pharmacy has an ongoing method for perpetually monitoring drugs in Schedules II through V to ensure drugs dispensed from the pharmacy have been loaded into the device and not diverted, such as with the use of perpetual inventory management software, then the audit required in this subsection may be limited to the discrepancies or exceptions as identified by the method for perpetually monitoring the drugs.

3. The PIC or his designee shall conduct at least a monthly audit to review the dispensing and administration records of Schedules II through V drugs from each automated dispensing device as follows:

a. The audit shall include a review of administration records for each device per month for possible diversion by fraudulent charting. The review shall include all Schedules II through V drugs administered for a time period of not less than 24 consecutive hours during the audit period.

b. The hard-copy distribution and administration records printed out and reviewed in the audit shall be initialed and dated by the person conducting the audit. If nonpharmacist personnel conduct the audit, a pharmacist shall review the record and shall initial and date the record.

c. The PIC or his designee shall be exempt from requirements of this audit if reconciliation software that provides a statistical analysis is used to generate reports at least monthly. The statistical analysis shall be based on:

(1) Peer-to-peer comparisons of use for that unit or department; and

(2) Monitoring of overrides and unresolved discrepancies.

d. The report shall be used to identify suspicious activity, which includes usage beyond three standard deviations in peer-to-peer comparisons. A focused audit of the suspicious activity and individuals associated with the activity shall be performed whenever suspicious activity is identified from the reports.

4. The PIC or his designee shall maintain a record of compliance with the reviews and audits in accordance with subsection H of this section.

G. Inspections. Automated dispensing devices shall be inspected monthly by pharmacy personnel to verify proper storage, proper location of drugs within the device, expiration dates, the security of drugs, and validity of access codes. The PIC or his designee shall maintain documentation of the inspection in accordance with subsection H of this section. With the exception of a monthly physical review of look-alike and sound-alike drugs stored within matrix drawers or open access areas within the device, such monthly inspection shall not require physical inspection of the device if the device is capable of and performs the following:

1. At least daily monitoring of refrigerator or freezer storage with documented temperature ranges, variances, and resolutions;

2. Automatic identification and isolation of the location of each drug within the device using a machine readable product identifier, such as barcode technology, and generation of a report verifying the applicable settings;

3. Electronic tracking of drug expiration dates and generation of proactive reports allowing for the replacement of drugs prior to their expiration date; and

4. Electronic detection of the opening of the device, identification of the person accessing the device, automatic denial of access to the device during malfunctions and mechanical errors, and generation of reports of any malfunction and mechanical error.

H. Records.

1. All records required by this section shall be maintained for a period of not less than two years. Records shall be maintained at the address of the pharmacy providing services to the hospital except manual Schedule VI distribution records, reports auditing for indications of suspicious activity, and focused audits, all of which may be maintained in offsite storage or electronically as an electronic image that provides an exact image of the document that is clearly legible provided such offsite or electronic records are retrievable and made available for inspection or audit within 48 hours of a request by the board or an authorized agent.

2. Distribution and delivery records and required initials may be generated or maintained electronically provided:

a. The system being used has the capability of recording an electronic signature that is a unique identifier and restricted to the individual required to initial or sign the record.

b. The records are maintained in a read-only format that cannot be altered after the information is recorded.

c. The system used is capable of producing a hard-copy printout of the records upon request.

3. Schedules II through V distribution and delivery records may also be stored off site or electronically in compliance with requirements of subdivision 1 of this subsection and if authorized by DEA or in federal law or regulation.

4. Hard-copy distribution and administration records that are printed and reviewed in conducting required audits may be maintained at an off-site location or electronically provided they can be readily retrieved upon request; provided they are maintained in a read-only format that does not allow alteration of the records; and provided a separate log is maintained for a period of two years showing dates of audit and review, the identity of the automated dispensing device being audited, the time period covered by the audit and review, and the initials of all reviewers.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3307 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR530-01-1 § 10.7, eff. October 25, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 4, eff. December 16, 1992; Volume 10, Issue 1, eff. November 4, 1993; Volume 11, Issue 21, eff. August 9, 1995; Volume 14, Issue 8, eff. February 4, 1998; Volume 15, Issue 21, eff. August 4, 1999; Volume 20, Issue 23, eff. August 25, 2004; Volume 25, Issue 24, eff. September 2, 2009; Volume 27, Issue 11, eff. March 17, 2011; Volume 30, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2014; Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019.

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