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Mismanaged Medications in Nursing Homes: Maintaining Adequate Staffing and Staffing Procedures (Part 4 of 6)

In implementing its policies and procedures, a nursing home facility must hire, retain, and supervise its employees in a manner that minimizes the risk of maltreatment to residents, including having qualified staff administer any medication.

For medications administered on an “as needed basis,” such as anti-anxiety medications like alprazolam (brand name Xanax), diazepam (Valium), or clonazepam (Klonipin), the decision to give the drug must be based on a nurse’s assessment of the resident’s condition and an assessment of whether previously administered doses of the medication or effective. The nurse must document the basis for each instance of medicine administered on an as-needed basis.

The nursing home staff must document all medication orders. This means documenting medication administration on both the physician’s “order sheet” and the resident’s medication administration record. The nursing home must transcribe physician orders accurately, frequently, with start and stop dates, as well as clarify any unclear orders with the physician.

It is the job of a skilled personal injury layer to accurately evaluate whether the nursing home’s practice complied with the expectations set forth in the facility’s policies, procedures, and training records.

To give an example, let’s say that a nursing home’s policies and procedures require two nurses to complete the transcription process—one to transcribe the orders into a resident’s medication administration record, a second to check that the transcript is accurate.  If the facility is following federal regulations, two signatures should indicate a thorough review and transcription of a resident’s medicine records; there should be no discrepancies. However, two signatures on a form that has evident discrepancies means that, in practice, the facility is failing to ensure responsible medication management. This carelessness can have disastrous results.

Mismanaged Medications in Nursing Homes: An Overview (Part 1 of 6)

Mismanaged Medications in Nursing Homes: Proper Medication Management (Part 2 of 6)

Mismanaged Medications in Nursing Homes: A Resident’s Medical Records and Medication History (Part 3 of 6)

Mismanaged Medications in Nursing Homes: A Nursing Home and Its Pharmaceutical and Laboratory Services (Part 5 of 6)

Mismanaged Medications in Nursing Homes: Conclusion (Part 6 of 6)

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe you or your loved one has suffered medication errors because the nursing home failed to do its job, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.