Time allowed for medication administration changing.

  1. 0
    An e-mail went out today from the Pharmacy head stating that a (hospital) corporate wide change went into effect today. Until today, a medication could be given up to 1 hour before or as much as 1 hour after the scheduled time without it being considered early or late. A 0900 medication could be given as early as 0800, or as late as 0959. Starting today, that 1 hour window was narrowed to 30 minutes. A 0900 medication could be given as early as 0830 or as late as 0929.

    Now, take it for granted that as nurses we all want to give a 0900 dose at 0900.

    This just got me to wondering...What kind of policies are out there? For how many patients are those nurses providing care? How many/what kinds of meds and accuities? Do the policies work?

    Anyone care to comment?

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 35 Comments...

  3. 0
    I was taught from the beginning that
    we have 30 minutes either side of the scheduled time for a medication.
  4. 0
    We use computer barcode medication administraion (BCMA) This covers the 1hr 59" period.
    If you're early or trying to give the med later, it automatically asks for an explanation.
    The joy of BCMA is, that IF it works correctly, you CAN'T make a med error.
  5. 0
    yup, 30" before/after is what our policy states as well.
  6. 0
    I was also taught the 30 minute rule. Then when I moved to the unit where I currently work; I was taught 1hr. Of course I have my own opinions like once a day meds just don't matter if they are off by a few hours. Of course most of the meds I give in my current environment are baby meds like antibiotics, iron, caffeine. Antibiotics and pretty much all IV meds should be given very close to when they are due, but seriously; I'm not writing myself up for giving some kid their iron or caffeine a couple of hours late.

    I also consider that often the MD's will order a med as BID or TID and pharmacy will print the MAR as q12hr or q8hrs. So I don't feel bad not sticking to the original order rather than the schedule pharmacy chooses.
  7. 0
    Here in Iowa, I was taught one hour before and one hour after also. 30 minutes would be pretty tough in a nursing home setting with 35-40 residents during a med pass....plus accu checks and insulin injections.

    Better grab your rollerskates!
  8. 0
    30 minutes before or after here too. As far as BID/TID. Different hospitals will set them differently. Ex. one hospital may use 0900 for QD, 0900 and 1700 for BID, and 0900, 1300, and 1700 for TID. QID 0900, 1300, 1700, & 2100. Ours uses hours 1 hr later than these.

    If a doc orders BID, Pharm will automatically use the standard BID times. It's up to the nurse to change it if times should be different. Ex: doc orders NPH insulin BID. It appears on MAR as 1000 and 1800. The nurse must change to 0800 (before breakfast) and 2200 (bedtime). Same thing if med should be given q12hrs and doc orders BID.
  9. 0
    1 hr here
  10. 0
    it depends on the census. if you have a high census and are unable to give the meds 30 min before/after...maybe they need to reconsider staffing. if you start gettin written up for it, i'd be calling the supervisor to let her know if it wasnt going to be possible. at least then you could cover yourself. it figures a pharmacist would make these kinds of decisions without considering the reality of a situation.
  11. 0
    We have 1 hr here. That's also what I was taught many years ago.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors