Drug Discov Ther. 2024;18(1):54-59. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2023.01073)

Medication incidents associated with the provision of medication assistance by non-medical care staff in residential care facilities

Kizaki H, Yamamoto D, Maki H, Masuko K , Konishi Y, Satoh H, Hori S, Sawada Y


The shift towards community-based care in Japan has led to increased medication assistance for older people by non-medical care staff. These staff members help take pre-packaged medications, apply patches, and administer eye drops. This study assessed the risks associated with such assistance by reviewing medication-related incidents across 106 residential care facilities between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016. An analysis of incident reports showed that all incidents were minor, with no serious outcomes. The incidents were categorized into four types: dropped drugs, misdelivery/misuse of medicines, forgetting to take medicines, and loss of medicines, with dropped drugs being the most frequent. Most incidents occurred in the morning and primarily involved residents with intermediate nursing care needs. These findings indicate a low risk of serious incidents because of medication assistance from non-medical staff. However, the frequency and nature of the incidents were influenced by the timing of medication administration and the care needs of the residents. These insights highlight the need for customized approaches to medication assistance, considering the residents' care levels and potentially optimizing medication administration times to improve safety in residential care settings.

KEYWORDS: risk management, medication-related incidents, home care services, residential facilities

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