Medication administration errors in assisted living: scope, characteristics, and the importance of staff training.
Medication errors are common in long-term care facilities, and prior research has shown that many of these errors occur at medication administration. This is particularly a problem at assisted living facilities where non-nursing clinical staff (such as medication aides) are often charged with administering medications. Direct observation of medication administration at two assisted living facilities in this study found that the overall error rate was similar between nurses and non-nurses, but less trained staff from either discipline had markedly higher error rates. As the regulations regarding medication administration in assisted living facilities vary from state to state, the authors advocate for more uniform training standards for all staff authorized to administer medications.