December Events

December 1st World Aids Day World AIDS Day, designated on 1 December every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control. December 21st First Day of Winter In the Northern Hemisphere winter begins with the winter solstice.  The Southern Hemisphere begins summer.  Between the equator and Arctic Circle the sunrise and sunset points on the horizon are farthest south for the year and daylight length is minimum of 12 hours, 8 minutes. December 10th – 18th Hanukkah/Chanukah Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods December 25th Christmas Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  Most popular of Christian observances, Christmas as a Feast of the Nativity dates from the 4th century December 31st New Years Eve The last evening of the Gregorian calendar year, traditionally a night for merrymaking to welcome in the new year.

Straight Suicide Talk

With the two high profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, mental health and dealing with depression was in the news.  If you have a friend or family member who you think may be considering taking their own life, experts say to come right out and ask them.  Contrary to scaring them, this question will come as a relief. Here are ten ways to deal with feelings of depression and isolation: Talk about feelings Eat well Keep in touch Take a break Do something you’re good at Keep active Drink sensibly Ask for help Care for others Accept who you are And if you find yourself having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.  It is available 24 hours a day, every day.

Controlled Substances Bill 2018

Controlled Substances Bill —Passed by Florida Legislature in 2018, the Controlled Substances Bill establishes prescribing limits, requires continuing education on controlled substance prescribing and expands required use of Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, EFORCSE. New Requirements are effective July 1, 2018 PUBLIC SERVICE VIDEO Board of Pharmacy Chair, Jeenu Philip, provides Pharmacists with an overview of Florida’s Controlled Substance Bill that went into effect on July 1, 2018. The implementation for these requirements are changing daily, until all mandates and concerns are addressed. For updates and more information regarding the legislation, please visit Prescription limits for Acute Pain Prescribing practitioner may prescribe up to a 3-day supply of a Schedule II opioid for acute pain —Up to 7-day supply if physician determines: —More than 3-day supply is needed based on professional judgment Written —indication “acute pain exception” on the prescription, AND —Justification for deviating from 3-day limit is documented in patient’s medical record As defined on Florida Take Control website, “Acute pain” is the normal, predicted, physiological, and time-limited response to an adverse chemical, thermal, or mechanical stimulus associated with surgery, trauma, or acute illness. It does not include pain related to cancer, terminal conditions, pain treated with palliative care, or traumatic injuries with an Injury Severity Score of 9 or greater Prescriptions for non-acute pain —If prescriber writes



Addiction and Drug Theft in facilities

In May, 2018 a nurse working at a Wisconsin nursing home was charged with 11 felony and misdemeanor charges.  The charges were: intentionally subjecting an individual at risk to abuse, theft, imitation of a controlled substance, possession of narcotic drugs and obtaining a prescription drug with fraud. According to the criminal complaint: A nurse training with the accused nurse witnessed her diverting narcotics.  The nurse trainee said that when he worked with the accused nurse, patients complained of pain even after the nurse gave them their medication.  But when training with other nurses, the trainee said the same residents were not complaining of pain after receiving pain medication. The accused nurse was brought into the DON office and admitted to diverting narcotics but didn’t state the amount of drugs she took or how long she had been doing it.  The accused told the nursing director that she gave the narcotics to her son because he is an addict and becomes violent toward her. An investigation showed that instead of giving residents scheduled doses of hydrocodone or Percocet, the accused nurse was giving them Tylenol.  The accused nurse was in charge of the narcotics cart, and all medications were signed off and dispensed by her to the nurses for administering to the patients. The Director of Nursing reported the theft to



Medication Management Program

On October 1,  2018, data will be collected to ensure that medication reconciliation is also completed at the time of admission.  The new Quality Measure – Drug Regimen Review, will evaluate the percentage of resident stays in which drug regimen review was conducted at time of admission and if facility staff followed up with the physician before midnight the next calendar day.   Facilities that are found non-compliant will have their Medicare Payment reduced 2%. Skilled nursing facilities are required to reconcile patient medications prior to discharge back to the community.  F661 – Discharge Summary states “Facility staff must compare the medications listed in the discharge summary to medications the resident was taking while in the facility.  Any discrepancies must be assessed and resolved, and resolution documented in discharge summary with rationale.” The Advancing Excellence “Medications at Transitions and Clinical Handoffs” (MATCH) toolkit incorporated experiences and lessons learned from staff of facilities that have implemented MATCH.  The toolkit helps facilitate a review and improvement of current practices to strengthen the process and improve patient safety. The World Health Organization has developed a Standard Operating Protocol for Medication Reconciliation and assuring medication accuracy in transitions in care. To write your policy and start your program, click the link below: