Jeff Hedges, President, and CEO of R.J. Hedges & Associates, recently sat down with Elements magazine to discuss his top tips for passing any pharmacy inspection. Pharmacy inspections, or even just the thought of getting inspected, are enough to make any pharmacist sweat.
While pharmacies didn’t have much to worry about from a regulatory perspective 15 years ago, Jeff notes that this industry is now heavily regulated. Luckily, R.J. Hedges’ mantra of staying prepared is all anyone needs to do to ensure future inspections are a breeze.
In the first section of this Elements article, Jeff details what to expect from the various inspecting bodies. Your state board of pharmacy, for example, verifies that your licenses are current and posted, and they also keep a close eye on security measures.
Jeff also explains what pharmacists can expect from common inspectors such as the DEA, the Office of Civil Rights, PBM auditors, and accreditation organizations. Each inspecting body has its own checklists to cover, so pharmacies must be prepared for each of them.
Jeff explains that the best place to start preparing for a pharmacy inspection is with your policies and procedures. Pharmacies don’t get dinged for violating rules; they get dinged for failing to follow their policies and procedures. However, Jeff also warns against training your staff for these processes and procedures all at once; that’s a great way to ensure everyone’s eyes glaze over after a few sessions. Instead, schedule these sessions throughout the year to ensure everyone is on the same page and updated on these compliance rules.
Beyond that, Jeff recommends knowing what rules you need to follow and staying on top of your documentation. If you do these things, you’ll be ready for any inspector who shows up at your pharmacy.
Jeff believes that pharmacy inspections do not have to be painful experiences. As long as you listen to the inspector and provide exactly what they ask for–and nothing more–you will be in great shape.
However, if your inspection doesn’t go smoothly and you receive a citation or deficiency, Jeff suggests that you demonstrate you fixed the problem as quickly as possible. Failing to take action soon enough may lead to additional consequences.
The full article in Elements magazine can be accessed here: How to Pass Any Pharmacy Inspection.