"The single greatest risk to patient safety in care homes is medication use: specifically medication errors and adverse drug events…" – College of Physicians and Surgeons
The Importance of Medication Management in Supportive Living Homes
Not all pharmacies are created equal. The importance of medication management and a supportive living environment go hand in hand. Once the assessment has been made that your client is regularly non-compliant with their medication, they become a suitable candidate for a Supportive Living environment.
It’s very important that the home or supportive living provider that your client goes to live with has a strict medication administration policy. Medication administration within the mental health population can present many challenges when it comes to non-compliance.
The main question you should be asking: Is there a specialty pharmacy working with the particular home or supportive living residence that your client will reside in?
Community pharmacies and pharmacies at the retail level are often not prepared to service the client’s needs, especially since there are often multiple caregivers servicing a client base that have different medication handling needs. Specialty mental health medications need to be distributed to different points of care.
When choosing a home for your client ask yourself if the pharmacy in place is prepared to offer specialized packaging for each client and have the logistical capability of servicing the multiple points of care.
Specialty pharmacies understand the unique needs of the patient base within the home and are able to easily adapt and customize dispensing practices and programs for each individual patient.
A pharmacy claiming that they offer pharmacy services to a mental health home is often not enough – they may be ill-equipped to service the client who has a very complex circle of care.
One of the leading causes of re-hospitalization of individuals from care homes is medication mismanagement within the home itself. Medication systems provided by the specialty pharmacy to the home should have a process in place to prevent any administration errors of prescription dispensing.
Medication Management Checklist
Does the pharmacy follow a medication management checklist where a multidisciplinary team meets to share their knowledge of the medication system in a particular home? The team can consist of a case manager, frontline worker, and pharmacist.
According to the HQCA, "...this checklist identifies vulnerabilities within the system which can be addressed through a quality and safety improvement process."
It is important to have regular client assessment and a monitoring of medication orders, safe storage and documentation.
The need for medication safety within the home is paramount in keeping your clients healthy, properly medicated and on the right track.
What additional services can Supportive Living homes provide for clients’ long-term success?
Our next blog will tackle the importance of money management within the client population of those afflicted with mental health and addictions problems.
#medication #pharmacy #healthcare
Written by Vishal Chityal, CEO, President and Founder, SupportiveLiving.ca