Our bubble packs are designed to eliminate confusion and allow facility staff to keep track of medications. The capsules and tablets for each medication are organized and placed into blisters on a card. Each card contains one medication for a specific time of the day (morning, noon, evening and bedtime).
When it is time to administer medications, simply punch out the contents of the blister. No longer worry about discontinued or changed medication orders, simply remove this card from the patient’s medications.
In addition, light sensitive medications are packed in amber blisters to ensure the maximum efficacy and stability of medications.
Long-term care (LTC) facilities often use large quantities of these controlled substances, especially when residents who are near the end of life need these medications for control of severe pain. To ensure that these medications are not stolen or diverted, LTC facilities generally require the nursing staff to inventory all of the controlled medications stored in the facility at every change of shift (usually three times per day). Without such a policy, investigating discrepancies can be extremely difficult.
Rationale for Special Packaging of Medications
One of the clear expectations of agencies that oversee long-term care facilities is that medications will be provided to residents accurately and on-time. Because of the importance of medications in the care of these residents, errors in medication administration are taken seriously. Medication administration is one of the key issues examined by government inspectors or surveyors when these organizations are reviewed for quality.
There are three key reasons why long-term care facilities use specialized packaging for medications for their residents:
- Enhanced accuracy of medication administration (fewer errors)
- Enhanced accountability of controlled substances (less drug diversion)
- Enhanced efficiency of medication management (saves nursing time)
In cases where the resident is responsible for the cost of medications, and has a pharmacy benefit that provides coverage for part or all of the medication costs, the best solution at this time is to handle these situations on a case-by-case basis. The nursing facility social worker may be able to work out an arrangement with the insurance company or pharmacy benefit manager to reimburse the patient for the cost of medications obtained from the LTC pharmacy.