Securing your Patients’ Well-Being
For staff members who have worked in drug rehab centers, nursing homes or hospitals, having med carts that are reliable and organized can make a real difference in the way a patient receives their care. These carts carry medication specific to each patient and have been organized diligently by the local pharmacy. Depending on the patient, medications are administered one or more times a day by a medication tech, nurse, or other healthcare staff member in a health center.
Med carts that are organized are highly beneficial to patients as it leaves less room for medication errors. Having a medication cart that is disorganized can lead to administration of the wrong medication to the wrong patient. In some cases, these errors can lead to an adverse reaction in the patient and leave them open to the possibility of anaphylactic shock. On the other hand, medication errors may occur when a patient is given a medication at the wrong time or administered the wrong dosage. Making such errors not only puts the patient’s life at risk, but also leaves the healthcare worker and facility liable for the errors. But with a medication cart that is organized according to each patient’s needs, the room for error becomes far less.
In some cases, a patient may be on heavy narcotics such as Oxycontin, Dilaudid, Morphine or Vicodin. When a patient is placed on any narcotic medications as such, it is extremely important to keep these medications double-locked, secured and organized in the med carts. Therefore, whenever a patient is in pain and is in immediate need of medication, the staff member knows right where to get it. And because the medication will have the correct name, dosage and doctor listed, the patient will have their needs promptly attended to by the staff member.
There are many risks that are associated with a cart that isn’t locked properly. Medication and other items that are stored inside the cart can go missing when a person who is not authorized decides to access the medication cart. It’s always best for staff members to lock the cart as soon as the medication cart is done being accessed and to keep the key secured with them until the remainder of the shift is over.
Medication carts are not only used to store a patient’s medicine according to their name, but they also serve as great storage for blood pressure machines, thermometers, pulseoximeters and more. Having a cart that is easy to maneuver, organized and locked, and prevents medication errors keeps the patient safe and the staff worker credible.
Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.