One of the most essential components of a dental office’s health and safety plan is safe management of medication storage. All medications and other drugs used in dental offices should be kept in a secure location. Medications should not be kept in patient exam rooms or common areas. Controlled substances must be kept in a locked cabinet and only accessible to authorized personnel.

Medication Storage

Medications should be kept secluded from areas of extreme high or low temperatures. Storing medications near windows allowing sunlight or underneath and air conditioning vent may affect the integrity of the drug. Meds requiring refrigeration, such as vaccinations, should be a kept in a separate refrigerator. Vaccinations require a temperature range of 35 degrees Fahrenheit and 46 degrees Fahrenheit and should never be stored in the doors of the refrigerator. Food and drinks should never be placed in the same refrigerator. Signs should also be provided that state, “Do Not Unplug.”

Central Medication Areas

Medications, especially controlled substances, should always be kept in a safe, secure location. But what about medications, such as a non-narcotic analgesic or ibuprofen? Clinicians need to prepare medications for their patients frequently throughout the day. So where can they do this if they are in a locked storage room?

Medications that are regularly used should be kept in a central area that is controlled, but easily accessible by the clinician. A central medication area must be in a “clean” area to reduce the risk of transmitting infection. A central medication area should never be near a sink or biohazard waste container to reduce the risk of splashes of potentially infectious materials. Clinicians should prepare their medications after proper removal of PPE and hand hygiene.

Designing a Medication Management Program

Need assistance adjusting your health and safety plan or managing your medication management program? OccuMed of New England specializes in developing, revising and implementing medication management policies and procedures for our dental and other healthcare clients. To request a quote, visit our website and fill out a few short questions. For more information, call us today at 833-OCCUMED.