Buffer Room Renovation Strategies for USP Pharmacies

Stephen Paquin – Associate AIA, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Greg Heppner – SmithGroup (formerly TRO)
Frank Peropat – Grifols USA, LLC

Renovations of healthcare programs are challenging, the renovation of a hospital-based International Standards Organization (ISO)- classified pharmacy is in a class all by itself. With the December 1, 2019 deadline looming for healthcare institutions to be in compliance with the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 797 and USP 800, developing a plan to renovate your pharmacy while maintaining compounding activities is essential. This presentation will review the pharmacy renovation strategies available to the healthcare project team and examine pharmacy case studies from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s (DFCI) experience renovating their cancer care facilities.

The presentation team will outline the general renovation strategies and examine in detail the pros and cons of the three options that Dana Farber Cancer Institute employed:

  1. Construction of a temporary pharmacy for use while the main campus pharmacy is renovated.
  2. Use of a temporary pharmacy trailer while a satellite pharmacy is renovated.
  3. Construction of a new, permanent pharmacy while the existing pharmacy remains open.

Due to the need to maintain strict sterile environment within the compounding pharmacies, renovation in place is not always an option. When a temporary pharmacy is created on the premises of a healthcare facility it must meet all the same regulatory requirements as the permanent pharmacy. Temporary pharmacies can be very costly as you are spending double the amount of money by building “two pharmacies”. Along with the cost of construction, there are also many operational costs & factors to consider including staffing, maintaining appropriate security, timely deliveries of pharmaceuticals, drug transport, and maintaining operations from 2 locations.

If space for a temporary pharmacy within the facility is not available, a temporary pharmacy can be built in a modular pod, located outside of the facility. Most often these pods can be leased directly from the manufacturer, stipulating certain time duration. When considering the use of a temporary pharmacy trailer, some important factors to consider are:

  • Placement of pod/trailer relative to the proximity of staff and pharmaceuticals/supplies
  • Capacity to provide shelter and secured access & security monitoring
  • Necessary infrastructure to serve this pod
  • Need for additional storage elsewhere due to limited storage in the pod

The construction of a new, permanent pharmacy will allow the existing compounding pharmacy to remain operational without any disruption throughout the construction of the replacement pharmacy. When building a new replacement pharmacy, several factors must be considered:

  • Location of the new pharmacy & adjacencies relative to long term use
  • Finding appropriate space for dislocated programs
  • Access and placement for necessary MEP infrastructure

This session will give you an inside look at the intricacies of the 3 pharmacy renovation strategies employed at DFCI, regulatory submissions and USP 797 and USP 800 compliance. We will explore the project process for each type of pharmacy option, including the development of a comprehensive team, gap analysis, risk assessment, evaluation process, operational workflow, and the planning/design phases. And review the challenges that each pharmacy project faced; including the evaluation of space requirements and cost implications.

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