What Is a Medication Checklist?
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:
- To ensure compliance. Care homes need to comply with various legislations and guidelines. A medication audit will help in the assessment of care homes in terms of compliance with national and local guidelines and best practices for administering medications. In England, care homes must comply with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines as well.
- Reduce errors. Medication safety is a crucial issue for many nursing home residents. They are prone to taking potentially inappropriate medications and antipsychotics. A medication audit helps you identify medication errors and ensure that your care home is doing everything to avoid fatal errors.
- Setting accountability. A medication audit helps you discover areas that need improvement. It’s an effective way to assess staff competence and medication management practices.
- Transfer of care. Transfers from a nursing home to hospital and hospital to a nursing home are prone to inaccurate medication reconciliation. A medication checklist helps avoid this by making sure the right process is followed during patient transfers.
This article covers the following topics:
What Is a medication audit?
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:
Supply, Storage and Disposal
- Minimize the risk of theft and misuse by storing medication in a safe place that residents can’t access.
- Store medicines at the correct temperature. Check medicines regularly to make sure they are not damaged or exposed to unauthorized access.
- Appropriately dispose of medication.
- Have an effective stock management procedure.
Reporting and Learning from Incidents
Reduce the likelihood of recurring errors by having an effective reporting process.
Prescribing, Monitoring and Reviewing
Assign the appropriate professionals for authorizing prescribed medications, monitoring the residents, and reviewing their medication needs.
Transfer of Care
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.
What information Is included in a medication audit?
A medication audit must include the following:
- An Electronic Medication Administration Record (MAR) charts that include the complete details of residents, such as the correct initials, age, and prescribed and non-prescribed medications. The correct dosage and time of the day when the medication is to be given must also be recorded.
- Detailed information about medication storage. It must define the steps followed to ensure that medications remain effective, uncompromised, and safe from unauthorized access. It should also describe the proper disposal of medication.
- Proof that the staff are assisting their residents when taking their medication, particularly those who have difficulties in terms of mobility or mental capacity.
- Proper recording of medication errors.
- Adequate staff training on medication management.
- Select the best way to treat the resident’s illness and maintain their health, whether through medicine or other means
- Choose suitable medicines
- Use medicines safely and effectively
Medication Audit Tools and Resources
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:
- Medication advisory committee
- Information resources
- Selection of medicines
- Complementary, alternative, and self-selected non-prescription medicines
- Nurse-initiated non-prescription medicines
- Standing orders
- Medication charts
- Medication review and medication reconciliation
- Continuity of medicines supply
- The emergency stock of medicines
- Storage of medicines
- Disposal of medicines
- Self-administration of medicines
- Administration of medicines by RACF staff
- Dose administration aids
- Alteration of oral dose forms
- Evaluation of medication management
PRN Medication Management
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.
Why use a digital medication checklist?
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:
- Use ready-made templates from the Lumiform library. Update them in real-time using the form builder.
- Capture photo evidence of non-compliance and comment on it.
- Receive real-time notifications for scheduled inspections and/or send assigned actions.
- reports and share them immediately with members of your organization.
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