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EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor

State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health


AFL 12-06
January 27, 2012


TO:
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Intermediate Care Facilities
Nursing Facilities

SUBJECT:
Changes to Health and Safety Code Section 1261.6 Regarding Automated Dispensing Cabinets (also known as Automated Drug Delivery Systems)


Health and Safety Code (HSC) Section 1261.6 allowed Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs), and Nursing Facilities (NFs) to have an automated drug delivery (ADD) system, commonly known as an automated dispensing cabinet (ADC).

The statutory provision that allowed use of ADD/ADC systems that permitted licensed personnel to have access to multiple drugs and were not patient specific in their design (i.e., HSC Section 1261.6(f)(7)) expired on December 31, 2011. This All Facilities Letter (AFL) provides notice of that change.

Effective January 1, 2012, SNFs, ICFs, and NFs may neither operate nor install an automated drug delivery system (or ADC) that provides access to multiple drugs and is not patient specific in its design, as specified by HSC Section 1261.6(f)(7), regardless of any existing or pending authorization or policy that the facility has to allow such a device.

Facilities should refer to the full text of HSC Section 1261.6 to ensure compliance with ADD/ADC requirements. Facilities are responsible for following all applicable laws and regulations. Any failure on the part of the California Department of Public Health to expressly notify facilities of statutory or regulatory changes does not relieve facilities of the responsibility for following all laws and regulations.

If you have any questions on this matter, please contact Sue Chaban, Pharmaceutical Consultant, by telephone at (916) 552-8636 or by email at Sue.Chaban@cdph.ca.gov.

 

Sincerely,

Original signed by Debby Rogers

Debby Rogers, RN, MS, FAEN
Deputy Director
Center for Health Care Quality

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