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What to do when medications are on backorder

The current drug shortage problem is affecting many healthcare facilities nationwide. QUAD A understands that some drugs required to be present in the facility by the standards may be on backorder. If this happens, your facility must make every effort to ensure the required drug(s), or their equivalent, are available on-site. Documentation of these efforts must be available upon survey. This documentation may include copies of invoices, agreements with other facilities to obtain a drug(s), communications with vendors, etc.

We recommend reaching out to an affiliated hospital and borrowing the medications until the order becomes available. If your facility is substituting a drug with an equivalent, please ensure that you take every step to ensure the safe delivery and administration of the medication. These safety steps may include, but are not limited to, staff education, brightly colored labeling, two-step verification processes, second-nurse witness signatures, etc. As an ongoing practice, facilities should develop processes for inventory counts and ordering drugs well before they expire.

Also, check the FDA website; some drugs may be on the extended use list. This means you can date an expired medication vial with an extended expiration date based on FDA guidelines.

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.