By now, we are well into the new year, and resolutions may have been pushed by the wayside, or abandoned altogether. Your to-do list for 2023 is at the bottom of a stack of resident orders, a psychoactive report and your last infection control report. It’s never too late to get your medication management program in order, though, so pull out the list and let’s get started again.
At the beginning of the year, we began a series of tips for managing your medication program. Tip # 1 was to get to know your pharmacist consultant and account manager and gather the help and resources they have to offer. This month’s tip is to put your focus on your Certified Medication Aides (CMA) and education.
The state of Georgia has a certification program that allows active Certified Nursing Assistants to become CMAs. Familiarize yourself with the rules and requirements, and then make sure you have all documents that the state requires for each of your CMAs. Review any medication errors or mistakes that happened over the previous year, and make sure your medication staff have their skills checked by a registered instructor to ensure the errors are corrected. An annual CMA refresher in-service is highly recommended, as everyone can use a refresher for their knowledge and med pass skills. Having a nurse or pharmacist come in monthly for mini-in-service sessions to review new medications, dementia care or the “Six Rights” can keep skills fresh for your CMAs and increase their knowledge. This can improve the quality of your medication management program greatly. Investing in CMA staff and their knowledge always pays huge dividends to your quality service.
Education is the foundation of knowledge, and with the complicated medication regimens we have in assisted living today, we must continually focus on the education of our medication staff. To sum it up, the medication management program tip # 2 is to focus on CMA education, both initial education and continuing education. If you desire an organized medication management program, you must focus on med staff education. At Guardian Pharmacy of Atlanta, we offer Georgia CMA classes, proxy caregiver classes for personal care, refresher training, one on one med pass education, skills checks and multiple other education classes for staff of the communities we service.
If you would like more information on our education and other services at Guardian Pharmacy of Atlanta, please contact Lori Newcomb, RPh, BCGP, at 404-309-4958.