Pascal Bergeron
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New Rules Regarding OTC Medication for Assisted Living Facilities

Recently there were changes to rule 58A-5.0185 which relates to over the counter (OTC) medication for residents of assisted living facilities (ALFs). As an ALF owner or staff member, it is critical to examine and understand these rules changes and ensure you are in full compliance. Luckily, the changes to rule 58A-5.0185 are relatively simple and easy to implement and manage. In fact, many ALFs may have already been operating according to these rules, as they are best practices. But don’t worry, even if your ALF was not operating this way, it is easy to begin.

Your ALF is allowed to maintain a stock supply of OTC medications for multiple residents to use. This can include larger, bulk-sized bottles of OTC medications. However, these OTC medications for resident use are required to be:

  • Stored in a locked container or secured room
  • Kept in a central, accessible location within the facility

 

The stock supplies of OTC medications are also required to be labeled. All labels must include:

  • Name of medication
  • Date of purchase
  • A notice indicating the medication is part of the ALF’s stock supply

A health care provider ‘ s order for OTC products is not required when a resident self-administers his or her medications, or when unlicensed staff provides assistance with self-administration of medications.

When ALF staff assist residents with taking OTC medication, there are also documentation requirements. ALF staff must record the name of the OTC medication and the amount provided in the resident’s medication observation record. This is required for all residents and for any type of OTC product including pain relievers, vitamins, and supplements.

While the new changes to rule 58A-5.0185 provide more flexibility to ALFs, it is vital to understand the ins and outs in order to remain compliant. It is a great benefit to ALF residents that ALFs can now maintain a stock supply of OTC medications. However, be sure that your stock supply is kept secure. It is not acceptable to keep the stock supply of OTC medications in an open space, unlocked container, or open cabinet. All OTC medications must be properly secured. As well, ALF residents may not access the OTC medications without assistance. All doses must be properly recorded. It is not acceptable for an ALF resident to self-administer OTC medications from the ALF’s stock supply and not have the medication properly recorded. Also, be sure that unlicensed staff does not assist ALF residents who are self-administers with their pill organization.

The new changes to 58A-5.0185 provide more accessibility to OTC medications to ALF residents and thus more comfort, as well as increased flexibility for ALFs. So long as you ensure your staff is fully trained and aware of the documentation requirements, implementing the changes will be very simple and beneficial to your residents and facility.

Over The Counter Regulation

(a) A facility may keep a stock supply of OTC products for multiple resident use. When providing any OTC product that is kept by the facility as a stock supply to a resident, the staff member providing the medication must record the name and amount of the OTC product provided in the resident’s medication observation record. All OTC products kept as a stock supply must be stored in a locked container or secure room in a central location within the facility and must be labeled with the medication’s name, the date of purchase, and with a notice that the medication is part of the facility’s stock supply.

(b) OTC products, including those prescribed by a health care provider but excluding those kept as a stock supply by the facility, must be labeled with the resident’s name and the manufacturer’s label with directions for use, or the health care provider’s directions for use. No other labeling requirements are required.

(c) Residents or their representatives may purchase OTC products from an establishment of their choice.

(d) A health care provider’s order is required when a nurse provides assistance with self-administration or administration of OTC products. When an order for an OTC product exists, the order must meet the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection. A health care provider’s order for OTC products is not required when a resident self-administers his or her medications, or when unlicensed staff provides assistance with self-administration of medications.

Now you might of had to read the part that Nurses need an order to provide OTC’s and Unlicensed staff does NOT.

It is not a typo the reason is, Nurses must work under the Nurse Practice Act, which states they need an order for OTC meds. Unlicensed staff do not need an order for OTCs.

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