Nursing Home Complaint Regarding Medication Errors

Many nursing home residents take a significant number of medications to preserve or improve their overall state of well-being. Medication passes are completed several times a day in nursing homes. This creates the chance for medication errors in nursing homes which can cause death or serious injury to residents.

The relevant federal regulation states:

(f) Medication Errors. The facility must ensure that its -
     (1) Medication error rates are not 5 percent or greater; and
     (2) Residents are free of any significant medication errors.
42 CFR, Part 483.25(f)

The interpretive guidelines differentiate between non-serious and serious medication errors based upon the potential for serious injury or death to the residents. The regulations attempt to limit sloppy medication handling practices by imposing a 5% threshold before a citation can be issued, but the "significant medication error" section allows the issuance of a citation even for a one-time mistake if it results in the death or serious injury to the resident.

Any time there are medication errors in nursing homes which require hospitalization of the resident, there is reasonable cause for filing a nursing home complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health.