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Patient Medication Storage in the Emergency Department

This document is a summarised version of OP-GC6-Medication Prescription, Supply, Storage and Administration & OP-RS5-Search of Patient or Visitor. The summary has been created to combine best practice information into one document specific to the Emergency Department (ED), and has been endorsed by the ED Leadership Team and Senior Pharmacy Team. Staff should review the PPGs if they require further information.

Overview:

This QRG aims to provide staff with an overview of the management of patient medication storage. Every patient is at risk of either misplacing or taking their own medications when they are admitted in the Emergency Department.

Applicability

This QRG applies to all presentations to the Emergency Department.

 

Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the Nurse Unit Managers and Directors of the Emergency Departments of each site to ensure the relevant staff are familiar with this QRG, that it is implemented according to the guidelines as outlined within, and that there is compliance by all staff members.

 

Guideline/Process Details

What does this look like in Practice:

  • Asking Ambulance Victoria (AV) paramedics or the patient if they have brought their medications in with them
  • Inspecting the actual medications
  • Document all the medications
  • Moving patient medications into hospital provided plastic zip lock bags
  • Identifying, account and store any S8 and S11 medications in the drugs of dependence (DD) cupboards
  • Document the S8 and S11 medications in the appropriate DD book
  • Inform the patient that if they want to take their regular medications, we have to ask a doctor to write a medication order for us before they can take the medications
  • If concerned regarding concealed medications and a patient requiring mental health care (both involuntary and voluntary) – notify Nurse in Charge (NIC)/Treating Medical Officer (MO) – Permission given by treating Consultant Psychiatrist

Figure 1: The red bag to be used for inpatient dispensed medications

Figure 2: The green bag is for patient’s own medications

Supporting Documentation:

OP-GC6-Medication Prescription, Supply, Storage and Administration

OP-RS5-Search of Patient or Visitor

Document Governance

Title: Patient Medication Storage in the Emergency Department
Version: 2.0
Date Published: May, 2022
Date of scheduled review: 01/07/2022
Author: Approver:
SHED Pharmacy ED Leadership Team