According to the CDC website, the fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a tainted batch of steroid injections made by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts has resulted in more than 500 case reports and 36 deaths (as of November 28, 2012).
A lot of things happen when something like this occurs. People become fearful, regulatory agencies begin to scrutinize processes and practices, organizations like ASHP begin to formulate statements and create plans to deal with questions and backlash, healthcare systems begin to reconsider how they do things, and people begin to change the way they think. Itâ€™s a natural progression. I’veÂ seen it happen more than once during my career; never to this extent, butÂ I’veÂ seen it before. It typically leads to practice changes and an entirely new market for consultants.
The NECC case has caused quite a stir in the pharmacy community. I’ve seen a wild swing in topics of discussion among pharmacists in the acute care setting, i.e. hospitals. Two things in particular have caught my attention: 1) all of a sudden everyone is worried about compounding safety in the IV room, and 2) everyone is talking about robotics.Â I’veÂ talked to a couple of friends that are still practicing pharmacy and they are â€œin the process of looking at IV robotsâ€. Both cited NECC as the reason for their new interest in robotics.
Continue reading What the NECC fiasco means for automation in pharmacy IV rooms