Immobile med carts

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    So my facility switched from paper mars to computer mars a few years back. Within the last year every battery pack for our computers has failed and the med carts are no longer able to be moved from room to room to administer meds because the computers cannot be unplugged. As you can imagine, passing meds to 30 people when you have to waste time walking back to the nurses station between every one is frustrating and stressful. We were told that the battery packs for those computers are no longer being made and that the only way to fix the problem is to order new computers, which nobody in admin seems to want to spend the money for. This is twice as frustrating whenever tons and tons of remodeling to make the facility prettier is being done around you. Most of these computers have been immobile for several months. Funny thing is, every time we bring it up at meetings admin acts like its new info for them, over and over and over again.
    We've all been taught in nursing school to take a med cart room to room with you to decrease a chance of med errors. I've also had to do this while being audited on med passes by state. So my question is, can my facility be cited if state showed up? I know having a mobile med cart is good nursing practice in long term care facilities, but is it actually a law? I'm in Pennsylvania.
  2. 12 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I don't know the answer to your question about being cited, but I'm curious. You have to pass meds to 30 patients at an LTAC?? We are only assigned to 2 to 4 patients at ours!
  4. 1
    OP I hope you meant to post this to the LTC forum not LTAC.

    If my med cart didn't move I would be ******!!
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
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    Whoops! This was totally meant for the LTC forum
  6. 1
    Aside from added wasted hours, the med error rate must have escalated, whether it's known or not.

    -What to do if a med requires a HR, BP, etc.? Do you really walk down the hall, get those, walk back and record them, then walk back to give the meds, then walk back to record the meds and other info (such as effectiveness of a nebulizer, or the site of a path), etc.?
    -Do you take any form of verification to the room with the meds (med sheet, med card, etc.) to help you prevent mistakes (as in all the 7 (or more) 'rights')?
    -What happens if you walk down the hall, or around the corner with the meds that have been removed from their packaging, and the patient is nowhere to be found- what becomes of the loose, unlabeled meds? Back in the cart? Your pocket for safekeeping?? What about a scheduled narcotic, that you've taken out, and the patient isn't in their room? Do you run to and from the rooms to make sure the patient is in the room, before you even start to pour or prepare or draw up meds for each patient?
    -What does the consultant pharmacist have to say- has he/she watched a med pass?
    -Do you have a staff development nurse in charge of attempting to prevent or reduce med errors? Has she/he attempted a med pass in such chaos?
    -This is so wrong, on so many levels, and dangerous, and wasteful of time and probably meds and supplies as well. YOWZA.
    mind_body_soul RN likes this.
  7. 0
    Can you plug them in the rooms or hallway outside the room?
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    We have been told in Pa. that is the equivalent of pre-pouring. You have to have your EMR in front of you with the resident. You'll be surprised how fast the situation is remedied after the state cites your facility. We frequently loose wifi and have to reboot in the middle of a med pass .--it sucks up a lot of time.You should be able to plug in your in each residents room-you'll just have to reboot between each move.
  9. 2
    has anyone investigated to see if they are being truthful about the batteries? or are they simply yanking your chain to save money?
    NutmeggeRN and ktwlpn like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from horrorxgirl
    So my facility switched from paper mars to computer mars a few years back. Within the last year every battery pack for our computers has failed and the med carts are no longer able to be moved from room to room to administer meds because the computers cannot be unplugged. As you can imagine, passing meds to 30 people when you have to waste time walking back to the nurses station between every one is frustrating and stressful. We were told that the battery packs for those computers are no longer being made and that the only way to fix the problem is to order new computers, which nobody in admin seems to want to spend the money for. This is twice as frustrating whenever tons and tons of remodeling to make the facility prettier is being done around you. Most of these computers have been immobile for several months. Funny thing is, every time we bring it up at meetings admin acts like its new info for them, over and over and over again. We've all been taught in nursing school to take a med cart room to room with you to decrease a chance of med errors. I've also had to do this while being audited on med passes by state. So my question is, can my facility be cited if state showed up? I know having a mobile med cart is good nursing practice in long term care facilities, but is it actually a law? I'm in Pennsylvania.
    Whoa, if you didn't say PA I would have asked if we worked at the same facility. Immobile med carts, as previous posters have stated, are not only inconvenient for the nurse, but also unsafe. I brought this point up to fellow nurses with seniority as well as admin and nothing was done. Yet another reason why I am leaving. I hope they get cited for this when state comes soon...
  11. 1
    Quote from mind_body_soul RN
    Whoa, if you didn't say PA I would have asked if we worked at the same facility. Immobile med carts, as previous posters have stated, are not only inconvenient for the nurse, but also unsafe. I brought this point up to fellow nurses with seniority as well as admin and nothing was done. Yet another reason why I am leaving. I hope they get cited for this when state comes soon...
    Methinks the carts will suddenly become mobile once the survey date of arrival is made known. Isn't that when so many 'miracles' happen??
    NutmeggeRN likes this.


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