US hospital pioneers use of first mobile compounding cleanroom

Duke Raleigh Hospital worked with Germfree in a new approach to uninterrupted sterile drug compounding

The fully equipped mobile USP 797 pharmacy-cleanroom allowed the hospital to deliver sterile compounded preparations without interruption

Duke Raleigh Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina in the US, recently became the first healthcare facility to use a certified USP 797 mobile cleanroom to assure uninterrupted pharmacy services. The advanced pharmacy unit, created by Germfree Labs of Florida, allowed the hospital, an acute-care facility, to maintain separate, on-site sterile drug compounding operations during a major renovation project.

During building renovations it is vital that IV compounding operations are not interrupted or otherwise disturbed. Full compliance with all regulations is critical to ensure an environment for safe and aseptic compounding of pharmaceuticals. Duke Raleigh worked with Germfree, the manufacturer of a turnkey mobile USP 797 pharmacy-cleanroom. The fully equipped unit was engineered to provide the advanced functionality and ample capacity required for operation in a hospital.

'The mobile pharmacy was the perfect platform to continue all operations on-site,' said Gene Woodall, Duke Raleigh's Director of Pharmacy. 'We were able to deliver vital sterile compounded preparations without interruption while maintaining our extensive quality assurance protocols and rigorous standards for product sterility. Concurrently, renovations to improve our main facility commenced with absolutely no impact on compounding services.'

Germfree Labs of Florida, US, supplied the advanced pharmacy unit to Duke Raleigh Hospital

The remodelling of a hospital pharmacy presents a number of challenges to maintaining sterile drug compounding operations. 'Traditional approaches are cumbersome and costly,' said Sal Golfo, General Manager of Germfree's Pharmacy Division. Some facilities are forced to renovate one section at a time, extending and complicating the project. Other hospitals resort to outsourcing their compounding, which adds cost and impedes workflow.

'Our challenge was to design and deliver a complete mobile pharmacy that would be immediately operational. It was imperative that the unit provide a comfortable workspace equipped to facilitate all sterile or hazardous drug services conducted in a traditional building,' said Golfo. The mobile pharmacy has distinct, controlled work zones engineered as ISO 7 environments. The Hazardous Drug Preparation Room operates under negative pressure and is equipped with Class II Biological Safety Cabinets. The Sterile IV Preparation Room operates under positive pressure and is equipped with Laminar Flow Workstations.

Woodall added: 'During the initial planning of our renovation project, we knew we needed an innovative plan to maintain the output levels and quality standards required for our sterile compounding services.

'Germfree's mobile pharmacy provided an advanced, comprehensive unit with all the resources we needed to provide seamless sterile compounding during the renovations at Duke Raleigh Hospital.'

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