ASHE, AHA advise field to prepare for USP

Although the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has postponed the effective dates of USP <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding — Sterile Preparations and the accompanying USP <800> Hazardous Drugs­ — ­Handling in Healthcare Settings due to pending appeals, several state boards of pharmacy already have begun enforcement of USP <800>, which may affect a hospital’s or health system’s timeline for compliance. The American Hospital Association anticipates required compliance once appeals have been addressed and therefore recommends organizations take immediate steps to assess their specific organizational readiness and develop a plan for compliance. The American Society for Health Care Engineering has developed resources to help organizations address the implications for meeting these requirements.

CDC updates personnel guidelines for coronavirus 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance and resources for U.S. health care personnel working in environments possibly exposed to the COVID-19. The guidance for public health management of health care personnel potentially exposed to COVID-19 in a health care setting provides information on assessment of risk, monitoring and work restriction decisions. The CDC says the document is meant for all paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, including body substances; contaminated medical supplies, devices and equipment; contaminated environmental surfaces; or contaminated air. The document does not include clinical laboratory personnel.

Joint Commission clarifies psych survey process

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a memo in January regarding the integration of the psychiatric hospital program into the hospital program. This will not constitute a change to the Conditions of Participation (CoPs) or corresponding interpretive guidelines that psychiatric hospitals are evaluated for compliance with during an on-site survey. There also will not be any new requirements or expectations for psychiatric hospitals that use The Joint Commission’s psychiatric hospital deemed status option for Medicare certification purposes. The Joint Commission will continue to use an integrated approach to evaluate the traditional hospital CoPs and the special CoPs for psychiatric hospitals during a psychiatric hospital deemed status survey.

Project to address health technology security 

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) will create a Foundry for American Biotechnology to produce technological solutions to address health security threats and enhance daily medical care, the agency announced. The foundry will be located in Manchester, N.H., and managed in conjunction with the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute led by DEKA Research Corp., as part of a public-private partnership with HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Its first project, a partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will focus on maturing and validating small, automated devices that could go to disaster locations to make necessary medicines on-site.