Did You Know that healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) account for an estimated two million infections and over 90,000 deaths annually? According to the article, “Spread the Word: Aseptic Technique Prevents Infection,” (http://www.clinicaliq.com/content/aseptic_technique.pdf) one way that pharmacists and technicians can impact HAI reductions is by using proper aseptic technique when preparing compounded sterile preparations.
Several non-surgical procedures require aseptic techniques in order to minimize the transmission of infectious agents. Those non-surgical procedures with the highest risk for causing infection include: the placement of medication or devices into sterile body spaces (i.e. IV lines and indwelling urinary catheters), wound care, and the insertion of intravenous or intramuscular injections of medication (especially from multi-dose vials). Many of these procedures are directly related to the use of sterile compounded medications. Therefore, when it comes to sterile compounding, safety is a never-ending concern. This is why a sterile compounding pharmacy must ALWAYS practice only the highest-quality aseptic techniques to minimize the chance of contamination. A well designed and executed aseptic process monitors and decreases both the risk of impurities within of the sterile preparation environment itself and potential threats due to personnel involvement.
One definition of aseptic technique is: a set of specific practices and procedures performed under carefully controlled conditions with the goal of minimizing contamination by pathogens.
The purpose of aseptic technique is to maximize and maintain asepsis – the absence of pathogenic organisms in the clinical environment. The goal of aseptic technique is to protect the patient from infection.
Aseptic technique training should be performed before permitting a staff member to compound sterile products. Here at Hartley Medical, all staff members directly involved with compounding are trained immediately upon hiring. This process consists of reading and comprehending Hartley Medical’s policies and procedures, review of USP 797 guidelines, intensive visual observation, and three media fill process Tests. Media fill process testing is conducted to get an adequate representation of sterile compounding. It consists of substituting the actual drug product with a microbiological growth medium (such as soybean-casein digest medium) to simulate admixture compounding. In addition to media fills, these staff members are required to compound three additional preparations that are then subjected to testing for bacteria, endotoxins, and quantitative analysis.
The entire aseptic technique training program here at Hartley Medical costs approximately $1500 per individual. Upon completion of this regimen, an employee involved with sterile compounding commences to the compounding of actual prescriptions. This system is employed to assure the proper training and maintenance of aseptic technique for the dispensing of quality medications.
Ronald Reagan stated on many occasions, “Trust but verify.”
To perform aseptic technique one must constantly assess the processes and verify finished preparations with testing. All sterile compounding staff are assessed monthly with media fill tests and random sampling to document accuracy and purity.
Though, the aseptic technique processes mentioned above are only a small fraction of the overall programs employed at Hartley Medical, this helps give an idea of the thought, training, design, practices, and assessments that go into developing the highest-quality sterile product. And here at Hartley Medical, we are Setting the StandardTM.
For more information about aseptic technique, visit Hartley Medical’s Knowledge Center by clicking here.
Click on the image below to view William’s Notations on Aseptic Technique.