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Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Registration

All physicians who are procuring, prescribing, dispensing, or administering any controlled substances, including sedatives, must be registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). If a physician does not order, prescribe, or dispense narcotics, maintaining their DEA registration is optional.


What if an outside anesthesia group provides anesthesia services in your facility? Are these contract anesthesiologists bringing controlled substances into your facility?  


A contract anesthesiologist responsible for narcotic procurement and administration must maintain a DEA registration at the facility location. In the event narcotic supplies are maintained in a central location, each facility must designate its supply to the DEA with its specific address. Duplicate copies of all records must be available in the facility and the central location, including controlled substance receipt confirmation and patient administration records. Storage of the controlled substance must be in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations.  


In all QUAD A accreditation program manuals, standards 6-D-1 through 6-D-4 address narcotic policies and procedures and are in line with DEA regulations for narcotic handling. If a contracted anesthesia provider brings narcotics into the facility, it is the facility's responsibility to track, log, and count these narcotics. It is the facility’s responsibility to ensure all QUAD A requirements are met when items such as supplies or equipment are brought into its facility. A surveyor may ask the facility staff to call an anesthesia provider in and be present during the facility's accreditation survey. All supplies routinely transported to the facility for use in patient care should be present during an accreditation survey so there can be an evaluation of the anesthesia equipment and drugs used.   


When anesthesia services are provided by an outside anesthesia group in a QUAD A accredited facility, these services must be performed in accordance with the terms of a written contract. The contract must specify that the accredited facility retains professional and administrative responsibility for, and control and supervision of the anesthesia services. Contracted services personnel are part of the accredited facility. QUAD A standards and the facility's policies and procedures must apply to all services provided by that facility, including those provided through a contractual agreement.  

Since 1980, QUAD A (a non-profit, physician-founded and led global accreditation organization) has worked with thousands of healthcare facilities to standardize and improve the quality of healthcare they provide – believing that patient safety should always come first.