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Storage of medicines in hospitals

When handling medicines in hospitals, not only the correct dose and application is important, but also the storage of the medicines. External influences such as humidity, heat, light and cold are factors that can impair the effectiveness of medicines. This, in turn, can have health effects on the patient, as decomposition substances are released, for example. Efficient and safe medication management in hospitals, therefore, also includes proper medication storage, to which strict guidelines apply.

How should medicines be stored in hospitals?

Every institution that dispenses medicines to patients must follow the proper storage regulations of medicines to ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of the medicines. This also applies to the storage of medicines in hospitals.

The storage of medicines is prescribed on the manufacturer's instructions, which can be found on the outer packaging or on the patient information leaflet. This information is based on tests to check the stability of the medicines.

If the conditions for proper storage of medicines in hospitals are observed, the medicine is safe to use until the stated expiry date.

Also, in terms of hygiene, safety, control and transport there are regulations that you should observe. For example, regular cleaning and disinfection of the storage cabinets and storage systems is part of this - the removal of the medicines should also be carried out hygienically, especially if the medicine is not used up all at once, but is to be reused.

What other aspects need to be considered when storing medicines in hospitals?

Use lockable medicine cabinets

Hospitals should store the medicines in such a way that unauthorised persons cannot access them. Therefore, you should use certified safes in hospital pharmacies that have resistance grade I or higher according to EN 1143-1.

Check regularly

Control plays an important role in the storage of medicines: for example, the temperatures of medicines requiring refrigeration must always be checked and documented. However, you should also regularly check the expiry date of all medicines. For this purpose, note the date of opening on the packaging, so that you can always keep track of when which medicine has expired and should no longer be used.

Medication management software also helps with inventory control in medication storage by checking which medications have expired, both in the package and in unit doses.

Enable safe transport of medications

When transporting medicines, make sure that it is quick and uncomplicated so that the right medicines arrive at the patient in the best quality. Especially with refrigerated medicines, you must maintain the cold chain and avoid temperature fluctuations.