The medication pass in a nursing home is often a labor-intensive activity, taking up a big part of a nursing home nurse’s day. A number of homes are looking at changing this to allow more flexibility for activities, special events and sleep. By looking at individual medication plans, some of the nursing homes in Arkansas have been able to reduce their med pass time.
Some of our homes in Arkansas, especially those in the culture change program, have looked at their medication times and are able to individualize the plan of care for their residents. With new technologies, such as computerized medication records, some homes are changing the way they view the medication pass. This way, they begin to change the focus to more individualized care.
We saw last month that many homes are thinking outside the box with activities, community involvement and resident involvement. This innovative thinking brings with it a need to look at the medical model of how we give resident quality care and still have quality of life.
Fortunately, there are many resources available to our homes that want to look at different ways to individualize care for our residents. From sleep studies that encourage homes to change the way we assess our residents (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8409176) to toolkits that are available to help change the way we assess our residents ( www.pioneernetwork.net/Providers/StarterToolkit/Step3/NightTimeTipSheet)
We have a lot of research and toolkits available today that will allow us to change the way we are providing health care for our residents. We have no excuses. We must look at the way we are providing quality care to our residents. Remember, evidence-based care equals quality care. Just as we are trying to decrease the use of some medications in our older population, we are also trying to change the way we give that medication.
If changing the way we think about care allows more flexibility, more resident time and better outcomes for our residents, why would we not change?
Here are some of the resources and ideas available to help us all continue to change our mindset to resident-centered care. These are just a few web sites that will point you in the right direction.