LTC Communities Save Nursing Hours With Medication Packaging Switch

In long-term care, nursing is responsible for overseeing medication distribution and administration, ensuring the right resident receives the correct medication, in the prescribed dose, at the proper time. Although the process is structured to minimize medication errors, its complexity makes it time- and labor-intensive.

With advancements in technology and the adoption of electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR) systems, Forum worked with facility management and nursing staff to convert their medication distribution system to multi-med strip packaging. In it, medications are co-mingled and organized in give-time order, significantly reducing the number of packages to be pulled, opened,and scanned per med pass.

In a study of three assisted living facilities, conducted before, during, and after initiation of the new system, communities realized a 12% reduction in administration time in as little as 5 weeks and up to a 32% reduction by 12 weeks after packaging switchover.

In one community,  673 nursing hours were saved per month after 12 weeks.

“We no longer have to schedule extra staff to help cover med passes. It has freed up nursing time and really impacted our ability to provide excellent care to our residents,” said one study participant.

An unexpected improvement seen post-transition in one facility was an increase in the number of medications scanned into the facility’s eMAR system, rather than administration being manually entered by nurses. After 12 weeks on the new packaging system, manual “touch” rates dropped by 14%, saving even more time and reducing the opportunity for manually entered errors.

Download the case study to learn more about how Forum works with communities to increase efficiency, save staff hours and improve processes.