What is the USP <800> and what do I need to know about it as an oncology nurse?
—Name withheld upon request

USP <800> is the current chapter regarding standards for hazardous drugs issued by the US Pharmacopeial Convention. This is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve global health through public standards and programs that assist in ensuring the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods. These standards were developed to increase awareness, standardize practice, and reduce the risk of exposure to hazardous drugs. Although the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines criteria and identifies hazardous drugs, USP developed standards for handling hazardous drugs to minimize the risk to public health.

General Chapter <800> includes the requirements of personnel handling hazardous drugs; facility and engineering controls; procedures for deactivating, decontaminating, and cleaning; spill control; documentation; and medical surveillance. These standards apply to all healthcare personnel who receive, prepare, administer, transport, or otherwise come in contact with hazardous drugs. USP <800> will be enforced by each state’s board of pharmacy or their delegated agency effective December 1, 2019.  — Leah Scaramuzzo, MSN, RN-BC, AOCN

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