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State: UW Medical Center pharmacy not clean enough

SEATTLE -- The state is accusing the University of Washington Medical Center of not keeping critical pharmacy areas clean enough.

The state Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission says this could affect public health, safety and welfare. It began with an inspection last year.

The state has had the UWMC's Pharmacy on its radar for more than a year. Most of the PQAC's concerns are about what's called a sterile compounding area, where a pharmacist mixes typically liquid drugs to meet a specific patient's needs. That includes special IV preparations for surgeries and other applications.

The Commission Director says keeping these areas sterile is critical. In the Statement of Charges against the Pharmacy, the Director of Pharmacy Shabir Somani, and Pharmacy Manager Steven Fijalka the Commission found that , "...daily cleaning of sterile compounding areas either had not occurred ... or were not documented."

It also found that, "multiple facility controls had rust, glue and dirt visibly present." And that there was "an open window to the area, high traffic in the area, and personnel who were not properly garbed."

The state says it inspected the Pharmacy twice last year giving it first a rating of Unsatisfactory then improving slightly to "conditional." But since then, the Commission says the UWMC Pharmacy has not sent any documentation that it has fixed the major concerns.

Now both the director and manager of the Pharmacy - as well as the Pharmacy itself could face suspension or revocation of their licenses.

The UW sent a statement to KOMO saying it has submitted a plan to the state to correct the deficiencies. The University also noted that none of those deficiencies suggested any patient safety had been compromised.
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