13 Measures for the Prevention, Misuse, Pilferage of Drugs by Hospital Staff

Some of the important steps that can be taken to prevent the losses or misuse of medical stores items are as outlined below:

1. Proper credentialing and police verification of all pharmacy staff.

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2. Policy of prudent purchases and minimum inventory holding—just enough to avoid stock outs.

3. A computerized system of accounting of medical stores with real time entries of all issues and receipts.

4. Proper system and space for storage of drugs as per the norms.

5. HOD pharmacy to keep a tight vigil over consumption of sensitive items (costly items, drugs of addiction).

6. Arrangement for separate secured storage for the following items:

i. Narcotics and psychotropic substances (under lock and key)

ii. Cytotoxic drugs

iii. Immunosuppressive drugs

iv. Acids and alkalis

v. Inflammable/explosive substances.

vi. Light/temperature sensitive items

vii. High cost items of foreign origin.

7. Periodic surprise check of consumption of stores at the ward/department level.

8. Management of inventory by modern scientific techniques such as ABC, VED, HML,SDE,XYZ analysis and lead time analysis, a combination of centralized and decentralized purchasing, ordering schedule depending upon the factors such as the item, criticality, cost, consumption pattern and the availability position.

9. Periodic study of the prescription pattern of various physicians to detect any abnormalities.

10. Discrete check over the usage of narcotics and ensuring rigid implementation of rules.

11. Periodic surprise check of staff at the exit gate.

12. A system of movement of all stores and equipment in and out of the hospital strictly on the basis of gate pass.

13. Insurance of the inventory against losses due to thefts/fire, etc.