OVERVIEW OF MEDICATION MANAGEMENT
Depending on the size, structure and functions of the health facility, there may be a pharmacy with qualified pharmacists to dispense medication, or medical and nursing personnel may issue certain medications within the service. Whatever the system, the health facility implements systems to ensure, that all pharmaceutical practices are in accordance with current legislation.
Medication management is not only the responsibility of the pharmaceutical service but also of managers and clinical care providers. Medical, nursing, pharmaceutical and administrative personnel participate in a collaborative process to develop and monitor the policies and procedures.
Each health facility has the responsibility of identifying the individuals with the requisite knowledge and experience, who are permitted by laws, regulations or registration to prescribe or order medications. The health facility also identifies any additional individuals, who are permitted to prescribe or order medications in emergency situations. Policies and procedures define the documentation required for medications ordered or prescribed and for verbal medication orders. Medications depend on suitable storage for their potency. In particular, vaccines which are exposed to high ambient temperatures and/or freezing will quickly lose their potency. The cold chain is the system of transporting and storing vaccines within the safe temperature range of 2 - 8°C. For vaccines to be effective, the cold chain must be maintained from the place of manufacture to the point of administration. Each time that vaccines are exposed to the wrong temperature, their potency is reduced. To know if vaccines are potent at the time of administration, it is important that they be monitored for exposure to heat and cold as they pass through the cold chain. While domestic refrigerators are not designed to meet the requirements of vaccine storage, safe storage is possible if healthcare facilities follow simple guidelines. Guidelines may be obtained from the Health authorities or from the manufacturers and distributors of vaccines. Foodstuffs must not be stored in the medication refrigerator. Patient care units store medications in a clean and safe environment, which complies with laws, regulations and professional practice standards. The safe administration of medications requires a strict and comprehensive protocol. The patient, physician, nurse and other care providers work together to monitor patients on medications. The purposes of monitoring are to evaluate the response to medication, to adjust the dosage or type of medication, when needed, and to evaluate the patient for adverse effects. The health facility identifies the adverse effects to be recorded and those that must be reported; it establishes the mechanism for reporting adverse events. The reporting process is part of the health facility's performance improvement programme. The programme is focused on preventing medication errors through understanding the types of errors that occur. Improvements in medication processes and staff training are used to prevent errors in the future. The pharmaceutical service participates in such staff training, where appropriate.
11.1 Management of the service
11.1.1 Medication use is organised throughout the facility to meet the needs of patients.
Intent of 11.1.1
As an important resource in patient care, the use of medication is managed effectively and efficiently throughout the organisation. Applicable laws and regulations are incorporated into the organisational structure and the operations of the medication management system used in the organisation. Where the organisation dispenses medication it must be an approved licensed site with the relevant personnel having approved licences issued for that site in...