Medication administration time, which is commonly referred to as a med pass, at any long-term care facility can be a challenging time. No matter how seasoned the nurses and staff is, many moving pieces can complicate the situation including multiple medications per resident, illegible instructions, emergencies, new orders, and family interruptions. All of these scenarios can often drag out the process and, depending on the size of the facility, make medication administration almost a full-time job for staff.
Let’s explore some ways to make med passes more efficient and effective for your nursing staff.
Prioritize Distribution Patterns
It is helpful if the staff in-charge of distributing medication are deliberate with their administration pattern. If they are only going down a list on a piece of paper, med pass could have them running all over the building and using up more time. Instead, by creating and implementing an order that makes sense for their building layout, the staff can save time. A suggestion that may benefit the med pass would be to have the staff serve the residents closest to the nurse’s station first, then work their way from the back of the building forward.
Depending on personal demeanor, residents may be difficult to convince to take medications on occasion. If a particular resident objects to their medicine, it could take a nurse upwards of 10 minutes to persuade them. If ten residents do this – it could take a nurse upwards of 1 and a half hours to complete! Giving your staff time to develop a relationship with each resident outside of medication administration can potentially cut down on time during each med pass. It is much easier for a nurse who is friends with a resident to encourage them to take their medication than someone who does not know them at all.
Make sure med carts are organized before beginning administration. Most times it makes sense for the medication to be in alphabetical order and match their medical information system, like a Kardex, and their medication drawer. It is also essential to make sure the medication cart is appropriately stocked before the med pass starts, so staff is not running back and forth looking for the right medication during the process.
Invest in an eMAR
An eMAR (electronic Medication Administration Record) system goes a long way in simplifying medication ordering and administration. A resident’s full medication and treatment plan are stored electronically in the system – cutting down on errors and confusion that can occur with paper orders. Many eMARs also offer barcode scanning to ensure the right medication and dosage is being provided at the right time. When it is time to reorder medication, many long-term care pharmacies, like Mac’s LTC Pharmacy Solutions, offer integrations right into eMAR systems.
Mac’s LTC Pharmacy solution is here to help your long-term care facility become more efficient when it comes to medications and the health of your residents. Contact us today for more information on the solutions we offer that are available to you.