“Proper medication management is one of the major issues in assisted living facilities.”
Assisted living medication management can involve five topics:
- the role of unlicensed assistive personnel
- resident assessment and service planning
- quality improvement
- medication orders, storage and documentation.
Up to 85% of residents require assistance in managing their medications.
“Older adults take a significant number of medications as well as an unaccounted-for number of over-the-counter, as necessary, and herbal remedies…Assisted living residences, moving from a social to a more medical model, are responsible for the safety and well-being of their residents. In addition, the prospect of aging-in-place in the residence is increasingly associated with appropriate medical and medication management.”
The Importance of Assisted Living Medication Management
Because seniors generally take a number of prescribed and over-the-counter medications, their administration should be monitored for correctness of prescription and potential adverse drug interactions.
Therefore it is crucial that assisted living staff accurately administer medications, giving the right dosage at the right time to the right person. The key is coordination between multiple physicians and pharmacies and staff members.
Doctors who prescribe medications for their patients in assisted living must also be aware of potential interactions and allergies.
A 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study reported that
“68% of facilities have a pharmacist or doctor, either on staff or through a contract with an outside service provider, who review the medications that residents receive for appropriateness.”
Assisted living facilities in Virginia must also follow legal requirements set forth by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Code of Virginia § 63.2-1732: Regulations for assisted living facilities mandates that,
“Regulations for a medication management plan in a licensed assisted living facility shall be developed by the Board, in consultation with the Board of Nursing and the Board of Pharmacy. Such regulations shall
(i) establish the elements to be contained within a Medication Management Plan, including demonstrated understanding of the responsibilities associated with medication management by the facility, standard operating and record-keeping procedures; staff qualifications, training and supervision; documentation of daily medication administration; and internal monitoring of plan conformance by the facility;
(ii) include a requirement that each assisted living facility shall establish and maintain a written Medication Management Plan that has been approved by the Department; and
(iii) provide that a facility’s failure to conform to any approved Medication Management Plan shall be subject to the sanctions set forth in § 63.2-1709 or 63.2-1709.2.”
What is a Good Assisted Living Medication Management Program?
Breaking down medication management to its very basic principles, guidelines for good assisted living medication management should include:
- Issuing the correct dosage
- Issuing medications at the correct time
- Thorough documentation of medicine dispensing
- Intervention plans and prompt intervention should a drug reaction occur
- Regular review of a patient’s medication plan for correctness and/or revision
Contact Green Valley Commons
At Green Valley Commons, an assisted living facility in Winchester, VA, we take assisted living medication management very seriously and are committed to providing the highest quality of care for our resident in both our assisted living programs and retirement facility.