Medication Safety

January 1, 2008 | Aging Services Risk Management


​Medication safety is a top priority for long-term care facilities, and the reasons are clear: the harm to residents from medication errors is great, the cost of such errors to society is high, and accrediting organizations, federal agencies, and third-party payers expect facilities to adopt the numerous strategies currently available to prevent medication errors. Therefore, reducing the frequency and severity of medication errors and adopting strategies to prevent adverse drug events are ongoing goals for facilities. Because medication errors can involve many groups—physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and even self-medicating residents—risk managers must help their facilities adopt a multidisciplinary approach to medication error reduction.

This Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) can help risk managers evaluate their facilities’ policies and procedures regarding medication safety. Although extensive, this SAQ does not address all the medication management issues that accrediting organizations and state and federal regulations may require facilities to address. ECRI recommends that this questionnaire be completed initially to acquire baseline data and periodically thereafter to assess progress.

For additional infor­mation, refer to the guidance article Medication Safety. ...

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