This indispensable tool ensures the quality use of medicines and improves the quality of services in a nursing home.
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A medication checklist makes it easy for you to evaluate all aspects of medication management. The quality use of medicines (QUM) is necessary for all nursing homes to ensure all residents are getting the care they need.
A medication audit for care homes helps resolve problems and improve the quality of service. The audit can be done at an individual, group and facility-wide level. A medication audit has various benefits. Some of them are:
Medication audit traces its roots in 1854 when Florence Nightingale used evidence-based medicine to improve the quality of patient care and prevent post-surgical mortality during the Crimea War. But it was in 1989 when medication audit was standardized as part of professional healthcare.
Working for Patients, a UK Government white paper, defined ‘medical audit’ as ‘the systematic critical analysis of the quality of medical care, including the procedures used for diagnosis and treatment, the use of resources, and the resulting outcome and quality of life for the patient.’
The World Health Organization, meanwhile, recommended core drug use indicators that can help investigate drug use in health facilities. It comes as a manual that provides objective measures of describing drug use patterns and prescribing behavior in health facilities. These drug use indicators can be used as a medication audit tool. They can guide you as you formulate your medication checklist.
Inappropriate drug use is a health problem experienced in many care homes. A medication audit is a tool that can help improve the quality of service in nursing homes. Managers need to perform care home medication audits if they wish to put nursing home resident's quality of care as the priority.
The most critical areas of medication management that a medication checklist must cover include:
Reduce the likelihood of recurring errors by having an effective reporting process.
Assign the appropriate professionals for authorizing prescribed medications, monitoring the residents, and reviewing their medication needs.
Follow best practices for managing residents who come from a hospital. The WHO has a set of medication safety guidelines for transitions of care. You can use this to create your medication checklist.
A medication audit must include the following:
It is necessary to regularly review and identify areas for improvement within the care home’s medication management system. This is where you need medication audit tools and resources. They are a crucial part of ensuring the quality of the system within the home. They help ensure that medication systems are not only safe but that they are also compliant with the necessary legislative and regulatory requirements, evidence-based practice, and professional.
Here are a couple of audit tools you can use for your care home:
The Guiding Principles for medication management in aged residential aged care facilities is a publication by the Australian Government's Department of Health and Ageing. It can help you create a safe, quality use of medicines and appropriate medication management process in your nursing home.
It offers seventeen guiding principles that promote Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) in residential aged care facilities. Can help you achieve optimal health outcomes in your residents by providing instructions on how to:
The guiding principles in this publication include:
Pro Re Nata (PRN) or "when required" medicines can treat conditions such as nausea and vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, and indigestion. In the residential aged care facilities, for example, residents with asthma may require inhaled reliever medicines, which are PRN medicines. Your nursing home must have a policy in place for such medicines. The Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust offers good practice guidance for PRN medications.
Audits also no longer have to be conducted with pen and paper. A digital audit app, like Lumiform's, helps auditors stay mobile and better organized. Using a care home medication tool helps nurses and care facilities better prepare a digital checklist. They can use them to recreate on-site checklists easily, identify gaps in care, and improve the quality of care and medicine.
Take advantage of the following mobile app benefits in your daily care facility work: