Once and for all, is it ok to...

  1. First of all I want to wish everyone happy thanksgiving.
    And now to my question, is it ok to send meds out with residents in little labeled envelopes when they leave the facility overnight or for a couple of days? I say it's not (because I read it here before) but was told that I misunderstood the answers, that as long as the families are the ones actually administering the meds that it's ok.
    If it's not ok, how serious of an infraction is it?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    At my place it can be done but only if the doc writes an order to dispense.
  4. by   Dixielee
    From my understanding, if a pharmacist labels the meds, it is OK, but if you are just putting a few pills in a bag and labeling them, then it is not OK because that is dispensing meds. In our ER, we can send patients home with prepackaged and labeled "dosepacks", burt we can not just put a few meds in a bag and send them. If the doc wants a patient to take home a med that is not prepackaged, then the MD has to label the med and dispense it.

    Recently joint commission has cracked down on this sort of thing.
  5. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    Aha! That's what I figured!
    Quote from Dixielee
    From my understanding, if a pharmacist labels the meds, it is OK, but if you are just putting a few pills in a bag and labeling them, then it is not OK because that is dispensing meds. In our ER, we can send patients home with prepackaged and labeled "dosepacks", burt we can not just put a few meds in a bag and send them. If the doc wants a patient to take home a med that is not prepackaged, then the MD has to label the med and dispense it.

    Recently joint commission has cracked down on this sort of thing.
  6. by   emllpn2006
    At my facility the family has to give 48 hours notice of taking the patient home. Then we must order enough medication from the pharmacy for their planned stay and the pharmacy delivers enough medication in regular pill bottles with the dispensing label on each. They look the same as if you got a script from a pharmacy but only contain the appropiate amount of medication that will be needed for the stay.
  7. by   bill4745
    From what I understand, that is "dispensing" and can only be done (legally)by a pharmacist.
  8. by   Antikigirl
    We did this...in my ALF. The card of meds was given to the family, and they had to accept it and sign for it. Then they talked to a nurse who explained all the meds and what not for them...then they had to sign again for understanding what the nurse said..it was up to the nurse to say if they felt they were okay to dispense...if not..they could not go until the nurse was okay with it!

    Me, I was proactive about this...I made up paperwork for them like a MAR to sign....date, time to give. They signed this and submitted it back to me once back! I also included a print out on the med incase they wanted to know about it..and a link to a pharmacy website I like to check on it! Lucky for me most people were interested and wanted to do this right..and honestly were nervous before hand..but with my help they were not nervous and had info!

    But...I was the only RN that went that far...some did put a counted amount of pills in an envelope with instructions. Heck..I was an outdoor school (camp) nurse....9/10 times there wasn't enough in the envelope for the kids..or if you dropped on....oops, no spares! Naaaaaaaa..you get to take the card incase of incident then you take those cards with you to the ER! And worse comes to worse..you have a spare (as in dropping one...which does happen!).

    I guess my boss then told me something that made sense about all this. If that pt was living at their home...would they even have the info we give them about meds? Proably not! So best we inform...because the pt has the right to go with their family during holiday...and well...some will chose no meds vs family....so lets cater to them the best we can and make the best outcome we can! That to me makes sense!
  9. by   texas_lvn
    In my LTC facility and ALF, we give them the entire amount with the bottles or the pop-outs. With all meds, we count them in front of a family member who takes control of the meds. Two signatures required going and coming. When the family comes back, we count again, with 2 signatures.
  10. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    Great inputs everyone!

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