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In 2008-2010 the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision carried out supervision of administration of medication in 67 nursing homes.

Serious deficiencies in many areas In 51 of the nursing homes, we found that relevant statutory requirements were not met.

Examples of important findings:

  • Unclear responsibility for services provided to the nursing home by doctors
  • Not enough time for doctors to follow up patients’ medication
  • Not enough time, and too few qualified health care personnel, to observe and report the effects and side-effects of medication
  • Uncertainty about where in the patient records important information about medication is recorded
  • Inadequate recording of necessary and relevant information about medication in the patient records
  • Separate electronic patient record system for the hospital doctor, that other health personnel do not have access to
  • The nursing home management lack an overview of areas of risk associated with administration of medication.

Patient safety is threatened

Deficiencies in management can result in unsatisfactory administration of medication to frail nursing home residents.

When there are also serious deficiencies in the same nursing home in services provided by doctors, in the patient record system, and in systems for health care personnel to monitor administration of medication adequately, there is reason to be seriously concerned about patient safety.

There is much to be done in many municipalities and nursing homes

The municipalities must ensure that something is done about this situation.
They must:

  • ensure that services provided to nursing homes by doctors are adequate, and organized in an appropriate way according to the tasks that need to be carried out
  • ensure that medication can be administered in a way that is safe for the residents
  • ensure that the patient record system functions satisfactorily.

On our web site you can find the reports of supervision both from municipalities in which these conditions were  satisfactory, and from municipalities where supervision is complete because the municipality has implemented measures to correct the deficiencies that were detected.