Morphine Authorization

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    I'm new here and not sure if this is posted in the right area. I've always loved coming to this site as a lurker but decided to join The other night I was working (NOCS) and had a pt. who was given an order for Morphine on PMs. The ADON and the PM nurse before me took the Morphine out of narcotics and administered it without authorization from pharmacy, although they did have the MD order. The PM nurse reported to me that pharmacy was going to be calling and giving authorization. Well...pharmacy called at 11 pm while the PM nurse was still there and refused authorization. When the pt's family asked why I didn't give the morphine later that night, I simply stated that I didn't have authorization right now but I could give something else if needed (he was comfortable and slept all night). I called my boss in the morning and I was the one who got scolded. She said I should have followed up with pharmacy asking why they didn't authorize it, etc. My question is, was I legally correct not to give the morphine? Also, why would I call pharmacy for NOCS when they had just called the facility at 11pm to deny authorization? Thanks for any input!
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  3. 24 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Where I work, a narc requiring authorization is not administered w/o actually having the authorization. So, to answer your question, I would not have administered the med either.

    Our pharmacy provides a reason for the denial, and usually it's something that just requires something faxed or a call from the doc.

    If your patient was sleeping and not in obvious discomfort and you also had other med options, I would have just continued to monitor the patient as you did. If something had changed, you could always contact the doc.

    Just a thought, it will come back to the facility that meds were taken w/o authorization. This isn't something pharmacy takes lightly. Your boss may have been upset at the breach of protocol and not you personally. Everyone was counting on the authorization, you just were the unlucky person who received the denial.
  5. 1
    I almost dont want to answer this one because I have worked in LTC where we have to get authorization with DEA numbers in order to pull from the E-kits for narcotics . Is this what you are supposed to do in your facility? and is it LTC? I have no idea why pharmacy would have not authorized it unless the physician ( at least in my state a RN or LPN in LTC in some facilities can't get a telephone order for a narcotic, the huge pharmacy group in my state has stopped nurses from doing that for about 2 years now. It makes me angry but other nurses say it was because of diversion ( nurses stealing narcotics) I dont think so I think big pharm wanted more control of the LTC market and control of when narcotics are sent to facilities for payment reasons. ) I would think perhaps they would have not authorized because the physician had not called in a telephone order to them. It leaves the nurses hands tied. I feel you should not have been scolded if pharmacy and a pharmacist would not give you the authorization there was nothing you can do about it or you would be in trouble for pulling from the E kit without authorization. Alot of this happens in LTC because the medication isnt reordered within 7 days of being out. I have been stuck so many times with calling pharmacy to get this authorization and it is a pain in the bottom when you have 23 other residents to pull meds for.
    Basically when this happens the nurse who is left with no authorization gets in trouble but your hands were tied. Its because LTC wants big pharm to handle their medication issues and have taken the power of the nurse to get her patients pain relief in a timely manner away from her or him. I wrote a paper on this and researched it and there are no state laws in my state about RN or LPNs not having the right to take telephone orders. It has been the facilities and pharmacies that have done this and who really pays is the patient . Hope this helps but it isnt your fault it is your facilities for allowing pharmacies so much power.
    trixie333 likes this.
  6. 2
    Sounds like you are in LTC and that's mostly unfamiliar territory for me, so I don't deal with having to get authorization from the pharmacy, and I'm not even really sure what authorization is all about.

    However, if I knew I needed this authorization in order to give an ordered medicaton, I would have wanted to know why the pharmacy would not give it because it might have been for some reason that could have overcome by supplying them some information or straightening out some misunderstanding.

    For me, it wouldn't be so much about right or wrong. As a nurse, or even just a lay person, when I'm told "no" to something I need or want, I need to have an explanation so I know if I truly can't get what I need, or if there is something I can do to turn that "no" into a "yes." Does that make sense?
    wooh and Psychtrish39 like this.
  7. 0
    Thanks. I was pretty upset that my boss felt like I dropped the ball or something. I didn't even talk to pharmacy, the PM nurse got the authorization denial! I guess I was just the scapegoat lol. I feel a little better haha. And yes, I do work in LTC and we are supposed to get the DEA number and pharmacist name. My ADON and the PM nurse decided to just pull it and get authorization later. I was left with the mess
  8. 2
    Quote from Tropigirl05RN
    Thanks. I was pretty upset that my boss felt like I dropped the ball or something. I didn't even talk to pharmacy, the PM nurse got the authorization denial! I guess I was just the scapegoat lol. I feel a little better haha. And yes, I do work in LTC and we are supposed to get the DEA number and pharmacist name. My ADON and the PM nurse decided to just pull it and get authorization later. I was left with the mess
    Actually the ADON and PM nurse dropped the ball and you work NOCs ( I have been there ) and the PM nurse ( I have been there ) should have gotten the authorization before they did pull them earlier or called the doc and asked him to fax pharmacy. Sorry you got chewed you werent wrong at all.
    sharpeimom and nola1202 like this.
  9. 5
    Where I work Pharm has no say in the matter. Can you tell me why they would have any authorization to say "No"? (just wondering...)
    leslie :-D, loriangel14, wooh, and 2 others like this.
  10. 3
    Quote from miss81
    Where I work Pharm has no say in the matter. Can you tell me why they would have any authorization to say "No"? (just wondering...)

    I'm wondering the same thing. Pharmacy authorization is a foreign concept to me.
    leslie :-D, sharpeimom, and loriangel14 like this.
  11. 0
    We need pharmacy authorization if we're pulling the narcotic out of our contingency-pharmacy hadn't sent the narc. because the order was from that day and delivery doesn't come on NOCS. Any time we pull from our narcotic contingency we need approval.
  12. 3
    Quote from Tropigirl05RN
    We need pharmacy authorization if we're pulling the narcotic out of our contingency-pharmacy hadn't sent the narc. because the order was from that day and delivery doesn't come on NOCS. Any time we pull from our narcotic contingency we need approval.
    Ok, I understand that but I was wondering more along the lines of "WHY" they wouldn't authorize it? It'd those situations that contingency is for?
    scoochy, sharpeimom, and wooh like this.


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