Each year, adverse drug events send approximately 450,000 seniors to the emergency room, more than twice the number of younger people, according to the CDC. With more than three-quarters of residents in assisted living facilities needing help taking prescribed medications, the risk of an adverse drug event is high. That’s why regular assisted living medication management training is critical for staff to help keep residents safe.

The medications most likely to cause adverse events are also the ones that are highly prescribed to older adults: blood thinners such as warfarin, diabetes medicines such as insulin, heart medications like digoxin, seizure medications, and prescription opioids. According to one study, one-third of emergency department visits for adverse drug events stemmed from just three drugs: digoxin, warfarin, and insulin.

Adverse drug events can occur in the home or hospital as well as long-term care facilities. Assisted living medication management training can help staff in those communities reduce the incidence of medication errors.

Some common errors in assisted living facilities include prescribing errors, medication administration errors, and systemic issues. Medication administration errors are those that fail during delivery. They include giving medication to the wrong patient, giving too much of a dose or too soon after the last dosage. Commonly, these are known as the 5 “Rights” of medication administration: the right patient, medication, time, dose, and route.

Contributing factors include distraction, incomplete information, environment (such as low lighting making reading charts and labels difficult), poor communication, and lack of knowledge. A study in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that a lack of training increased the medication errors of both nursing and non-nursing clinical staff. Empowering care staff with assisted living medication management training can increase the safety of residents and reduce liability.

Professional training from the experts at SeniorLivingU

SeniorLivingU offers essential educational products developed by experts in senior care to keep staff up-to-date on a wide range of subjects. Our Medication Training – Comprehensive Staff Training Package covers overall medication management techniques as well as in-depth videos covering Blood Pressure and Weight, Observing and Reporting Changes, Temperature, Pulse and Respiration. The package includes quizzes to check understanding and a certificate for successful completion. The Medication Management training manual and DVD are also available separately.

For Executive Directors and Administrators, the Administrator Level 1 course provides comprehensive medical management as part of the administrator certificate program. Next Level Essentials: Family & Risk Management, Risk Management Tools and Avoiding Lawsuits helps seasoned administrators refresh and grow their knowledge.

For questions about our senior living education or information about how to purchase our educational products, visit our FAQ page. Contact us today to learn more about SeniorLivingU and the services and resources we provide.