Drug availability is constantly changing. Shortages, back orders, and new drugs coming to market are all factors that keep purchasers on their toes. I'm asked dozens of times each week, "John- what do I need to do to purchase a new drug or have it approved for use at our center?" Technically speaking, it's not just as simple as ordering that new drug from your wholesaler.
It's important that your facility maintains a formulary. What's a formulary? A Formulary is a medication list of all the drugs your facility's board has approved for use. As you stop using certain drugs, or begin using new drugs, be sure to add or delete items from your formulary.
Your formulary may be an excel spreadsheet or a simple list of drugs. JDJ Consulting will happily format your formulary and include applicable drug trade names, doses, and notes including whether the drug is a look alike/ sound alike drug or high alert drug. We're even tagging hazardous drugs and hazardous waste on 2019 formularies to help prepare for USP <800>.
Follow these steps for successful formulary management:
Make sure all the medications, even fluids, are written down in one place. This includes all items on emergency carts and in refrigerators. Be sure it's printed and available at the nurse's station.
Include your formulary on the agenda for your next board meeting (if it hasn't already been approved by the board during a past meeting). Make sure that formulary approval is included in the meeting minutes.
Use this FORMULARY CHANGE REQUEST FORM each time you'd like to make a change to the formulary. This should be filled out, signed by the medical director, sent to Madison or Brittney, and signed by me. Keep this on file with your main copy of your printed formulary.
Once a year, ask JDJ Consulting to review your formulary. Send us a list of all the drugs you have added or deleted during the past year. We will modify the formulary based on your changes. This is why it's so important to keep a copy of all those additions and deletions you've made through the year.
If your board meetings more than once a year, include any formulary additions or deletions on the agenda and in the meeting minutes. If the board only meetings once annually, be sure to bring the formulary to that meeting for re-approval each year.