The researches find that portions and packs the prescribed drugs of a patient according to weekdays and times of day; sorted into individual transparent packages (blisters). In this way; one can see at a glance when tablets be take and whether all tablets have been take as plan. For some years now; therefore there has been a broad and controversial debate in Germany as to whether increase blister packaging for nursing home residents is suitable for relieving the burden on the long-term care system and sustainably improving the care of nursing home residents.
Individual transparent packages
The German Federal Ministry of Health therefore commissioned the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care to examine, among other things, findings from studies. The report is now available. According to IQWiG’s search for evidence, studies on patient-specific blister packaging have so far been predominantly conducted for the outpatient sector, also internationally.
However, as far as blister packaging for nursing homes is concerned, hardly any robust data from studies are available. Even the common arguments put forwa by various stakeholders and interest groups for or against more blister packaging in nursing homes are not scientifically prove. This also applies to the aspect of cost-effectiveness.
Blister packaging supports
In the opinion of its advocates, the fact that medication errors will occur less frequently with blister packaging supports the introduction of this method. Because the more illnesses a resident suffers from, the more complex drug therapy becomes. In addition, if nursing staff were relieved of the burden of organizing the administration of drugs, they would have more time to care for the individual patient.
This in turn could increase job satisfaction in nursing and make the profession more attractive for young people. Critics, however, fear a loss of competence if tasks are increasingly shift from nurses to other professional groups. Moreover; patients might also lose some of their autonomy because they would be even less able to recognize and decide which drugs to take and which not.
Job satisfaction in nursing
Critics also point out that not all drugs are “blisterable”. This could even complicate the administration of drugs for nursing staff in nursing homes; as they would have to remember a second distribution of drugs in addition to the tablets in the blisters. Initially; blister packaging causes additional costs. However; these should at least in part be compensated if wastage is reduced. The fact that not every patient receives a full package, but only individual tablets in the blister; means that overall, fewer tablets are thrown away.