MEDICATION ERRORS in NURSING HOMES

Medication Errors In Nursing Homes Ohio

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have a responsibility to provide exceptional medical care to their patients and residents. This includes administering the right medications, at the right doses, and at the right times. When there occure any medication error in nursing homes it can have a devastating effect that can cause significant pain and suffering. In some cases, a medication error in nursing homes can even be fatal. When a medication error occurs in a nursing home, it can be considered a nursing home abuse case.

Medication Standards For Nursing Homes

All nursing homes in Ohio must have a medication error rate below 5%. Minor medication errors below this number are generally acceptable by state standards, but all nursing home facilities must be free of significant medication errors. If the medication error rate for the facility is above 5%, the nursing home must create and implement a plan to correct these errors. 

When the Plain Dealer examined the state of Ohio’s nursing homes, they found some shocking details regarding how seniors in Ohio experience care. According to their study:

  • 41% of all nursing home facilities in Ohio earned a below-average rating of one or two stars on the federal Nursing Home Compare standard
  • Ohio had 184 nursing homes that only earned one star for care
  • Ohio doesn’t fine nursing homes that violate their standards
  • Ohio only requires 75 hours of training for nursing home aides – half of what California requires
  • Between 2014 and 2017 there were 31 nursing home deaths directly attributed to errors in treatment

Administration Of Medication In Nursing Homes

A medication error is any mistake that is made while ordering, making, or administering the residents’ medications. When medication is given in a nursing home, a nurse typically makes a “med pass.” This is the process of dispensing the medications to all the nursing facility residents and this usually involves the use of a medication cart to deliver medication from resident to resident. 

According to the Ohio Health Care Association, a licensed pharmacist or pharmacy service should be responsible for maintaining control of the stocking and dispensing of medications in Ohio nursing homes. In addition, the nursing home must maintain an emergency supply of drugs for use in the absence of a pharmacist. Ohio does not permit unlicensed people to give medications to nursing home residents. As such, registered nurses are the ones dispensing the medications in nursing homes and the ones most likely to make a medication error.

Types Of Medication Errors In Ohio Nursing Homes

Medication errors can cause serious injury and harm to residents in nursing homes. While some minor types of medication errors may be unavoidable, other medication errors are egregious and constitute medical malpractice or nursing home abuse. For example: not giving a patient water to take their medications or stealing medication could be considered neglect or physical abuse.

Some of the most common types of medication errors include:

  • Slicing or cutting pills that should not be cut
  • Not providing food or liquid to be taken with meds
  • Failing to mix medication properly
  • Improperly administering medication via IV or orally
  • Giving expired medications
  • Giving too much or too little of a medication
  • Not diluting medication
  • Skipping dose of medication
  • Ignoring an order for medication
  • Poor medication management
  • Stealing medication
  • Borrowing medication for another patien

Contact Our Ohio Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today

If your loved one has been the victim of a medication error in a nursing home, you need an experienced and skilled nursing home abuse and malpractice attorney on your side. At Anzellotti, Sperling, Pazol & Small, we know that medication errors can cause significant harm. 

Call us today at (330) 792-6033 or fill out our confidential contact form for a free initial consultation and review of your case. With offices conveniently located in Youngstown, Warren, Columbiana, and Cleveland, we are here when you need us.