Published December 9th, 2020
What is a Pharmacy Audit?
A pharmacy audit is a comprehensive review of operations and processes to verify compliance with regulations. Announced or unannounced pharmacy audits from the government or 3rd-party insurance companies usually aim to detect fraud, waste, and abuse. Non-compliance to the US Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Control Program (HCFAC) can lead to criminal investigations, revoked registration, and denied application renewal.
This article features the following:
- what is a pharmacy audit checklist;
- audit triggers and tips to prepare for—and prevent—a pharmacy audit;
- tips for pharmacy audit preparation and prevention;
- powerful mobile checklist app to audit-proof your pharmacy; and
- free pharmacy audit checklists you can download, customize, and use.
A pharmacy audit checklist is a preparation tool used by pharmacists who own, operate, or work in pharmacies to regularly perform an internal pharmacy audit. Maximizing digital pharmacy audit checklists can prevent costly audit chargebacks, save thousands of man-hours, and help uphold health and safety standards.
Auditors look at exactly what problems need to be remedied, especially regarding prescriptions, pricing information, and the licensing and certification status of employees. Watch out for these crucial situations that might trigger an audit to be conducted in your pharmacy:
- Patient Complaints
As the primary audit trigger, pharmacists who own, operate, and work in pharmacies should provide high-quality customer service to avoid this. For example, a pharmacy audit can commence when a patient gives an anonymous tip about an employee stealing drugs.
- Competitor Complaints
The complaint resolution protocol of pharmacies should be established and followed, specifically when complaints come from competitors. Pharmacy managers should review their daily operations to determine any activity that might generate complaints.
- Substantial Changes
Take note of substantial changes in billing patterns, cost of ingredients, quantities dispensed, and schedule of drugs. Pharmacy staff should consistently monitor shipping and medication inventory logs to easily identify any of these audit triggers.
- Significant Variances
If there is a variance from a group of similar pharmacies, it is imperative to confirm that the pharmacy is assigned to the right group. Charge variance among pharmacies of the same size, city, or region prompts a pharmacy audit to determine the root cause of the discrepancy.
When a pharmacy audit begins, even if the trigger turns out to be inconclusive, the audit will still proceed and the auditors will report whatever they find. Here are 5 tips to effectively prepare for (and prevent) a pharmacy audit:
- Clarify the scope of the pharmacy audit to ensure that only the necessary information is provided.
- Gather documentation requirements such as policies and procedures, invoices, and logs (signature, controlled substances, etc.). Never alter records.
- Validate the negative findings before the auditors complete the pharmacy audit report.
- Avoid common record-keeping issues such as billing and clerical errors during the prescription process by regularly auditing all staff.
- Perform comprehensive self-audits using mobile-ready pharmacy audit checklists to proactively ensure compliance.
Unannounced insurance audits and government investigations can easily be prevented when pharmacies successfully harness new technology. iAuditor, the world’s most powerful inspection software, can help pharmacies identify shortcomings and improve processes before auditors arrive, prevent costly audit chargebacks, and save thousands of man-hours from avoidable criminal investigations. Empower your pharmacy staff to:
- Perform a comprehensive pharmacy audit using mobile devices
- Capture photo evidence of best practices or non-compliance
- Send real-time notifications for corrective actions and scheduled audits
- Automatically generate and share pharmacy audit reports to members of your organization. Preview sample report.
- Use for free with small teams. Unlimited reports and storage for premium accounts.
Pharmacy Audit Checklist
A pharmacy audit checklist is used by pharmacists who own, operate, and work in pharmacies to perform comprehensive self-audits and ensure compliance with regulations. This checklist contains best practices for instances when internal auditors identify non-compliance. Use this pharmacy audit checklist to easily perform the following:
- Evaluate current prescribing practices, controlled substance management, invoice management, and billing practices
- Take/attach photos of best practices or non-compliance with HCFAC
- Assign corrective actions in real-time
- Complete the pharmacy audit with a digital signature
- Automatically generate and share pharmacy audit reports from the moment you complete the audit
Pharmacy Inspection Checklist
A pharmacy inspection checklist aims to help pharmacists-in-charge easily check documentation requirements, recordkeeping, and processes in a pharmacy. Use this checklist to efficiently inspect 9 crucial areas of pharmacy operations such as registration certificates, prescription registers, and dispensing reports. Receive notifications on your mobile device when you schedule pharmacy inspections using iAuditor.
Pharmacy Audit Template
This customizable pharmacy audit template is a tool for improving daily operations in pharmacies, including service provision and dispensing. Pharmacy supervisors can modify this template to gather relevant information and fulfill business needs. Consider using iAuditor temperature sensors for proper storage of medication, more accurate and frequent readings taken and stored automatically, and proactive and triggered alerts to the right people when something goes wrong.
Pharmacy Cleaning Checklist
A pharmacy cleaning checklist is used to assess the overall cleaning and disinfecting practices, sterile preparation compounding, and infection control in pharmacies. Easily inspect the attire, hygiene, and aseptic technique of pharmacy staff members, storage and waste management, and primary engineering controls. With iAuditor, you can create corrective actions with an assignee, priority level, and due date.
Pharmacy Safety Checklist
This pharmacy safety checklist is the digitized Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) form. Use this checklist to effectively control the exposure to hazardous substances, prevent serious illnesses and health problems, and improve pharmacy safety. First, identify the hazards associated with activities in the pharmacy and list the control measures and personal protective equipment to be used when handling these substances. Next, record first aid measures in case of an emergency and the means of disposing hazardous wastes and contaminated containers. Finally, summarize the autogenerated report by providing a risk rating after following the control measures.