With your hectic schedule, it is sometimes easy to overlook simple compliance issues. Advanced Healthcare Studies’ “Tuesday Tips” will bring you a quick, helpful idea each week that can assist you in your operations related to regulatory compliance. We know that many of you implement outstanding practices in your community, and we welcome your ideas as well. If you have a tip that you would like to share, just reply by email and we may share your tip in a future “Tuesday Tip.”
Tip: Residents Storing Their Own Medications?
This week’s Tuesday Tip is in response to a question we received regarding if and when an assisted living or residential care resident may store and manage medications in his/her room or apartment. Here are several factors that must be considered before allowing a resident to store and manage his/her own medications:
1. Physician’s Authorization
You must have written authorization from the resident’s physician approving him/her to self-store and manage medications.
2. Locked Storage
To prevent unauthorized access by other residents, visitors, or staff persons, the medications must be locked when in the resident’s room. A locking drawer or cabinet can be used for this purpose.
3. Other Residents
If the resident has a roommate, self-storage is not appropriate. Additionally, if other residents in your community have a tendency to wander into other people’s rooms–such as in a dedicated memory care community–self-storage may not be safe.
4. Your Observations
Despite having a physician’s written authorization, if you feel the resident cannot safely store and manage his/her medications, you have a responsibility to intervene and discuss the issues with the resident and his/her responsible party.
This tip was provided by Advanced Healthcare Studies — your source for operational and training products and services.
Josh Allen, RN
Advanced Healthcare Studies, LLC