Cups, Cups, Cups…
Small plastic cups and the small paper souffle cups always seem to find their way into assisted living facilities. Their use is clear – they simplify the process of staff giving medications to residents whose medications are stored in bottles. Even if your facility uses systems like bingo cards or Medicine On Time your facility will always have a resident that comes along with their own medicine bottles. Examples include residents who get their medications from the VA or residents that have just moved in with previously filled medications.
They are Not Illegal if Used Correctly
The use of the cups to place residents’ medications before giving to them is Not against AHCA regulations. The issue presents itself when the staff passing out the medication doesn’t follow the proper med pass regulations.
Regulations for passing Medication’s include:
- Taking the medication, in its previously dispensed, properly labeled container, from where it is stored, and bringing it to the resident.
- In the presence of the resident, reading the label, opening the container, removing a prescribed amount of medication from the container, and closing the container.
- Placing an oral dosage in the resident’s hand or placing the dosage in another container and helping the resident by lifting the container to his or her mouth.
- Applying topical medications to the skin, eye, ear, or nose including solutions, suspensions, sprays, and inhalers.
- Returning the medication container to proper storage.
Keeping a record of when a resident receives assistance with self-administration of medication using a Medication Observation Record (MOR).
So How is it Okay to Use the Cups?
It is okay to use the cups, provided you do the following:
- You are in front of your resident and you read the medication labels to them.
- You take the medications from the bottle and place the medication into the cup and hand it to directly to the resident
- You immediately sign the MARS
By performing the tasks in this order, you will be following the required actions to follow the medication regulations and you will not be subject to any AHCA deficiencies.