Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Pharmacy
Regulations Governing the Practice of Pharmacy [18 VAC 110 ‑ 20]
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4/23/09  11:53 pm
Commenter: Amanda Wiggins, Henrico Doctors Hospital (Forest)

Nurses should not have to sign for narcotics that are being placed in automated dispensing devices.

I beleive that nurses should not have to sign for controlled substances that are being placed in automated dispensing devices in hospitals such as acudose, because not only does it take the nurses away from there patients it also holds up the pharmacy when a technician has to wait around a unit for a signature when other units are also waiting for narcotics to be loaded into their machines. As a technician who uses the Acudose machines on a regular basis the controlled substances get checked numerous times when the order is placed into the narcotic vault, when the technician pull narcotics from the vault, then when the technician signs for them, and then again when the pharmacist checks and signs for them before being dispenced into an acudose machine. In my experience nurses are frustrated at having to be pulled away from work and often do not even check what they are signing for and on evening and night shifts it is very difficult to even find a nurse who has a free hand and is not turning a patiend or busy elsewhere. Nurses also do not whitness the medications being put into the acudose machine to even ensure proper placement although the machine only allows the proper drawer and door to open for the narcotic that has been selected earlier to be dispenced from the narcotic vault located in the pharmacy. There are already so many checks to ensure that the proper drugs are dispenced it is unnecessary to have a nurse sign especially when it slows down the process of delivering medications that are needed right away.

CommentID: 6989