Monitoring prescription drugs at care facilities

MASON CITY, Iowa- A Mason City woman has new charges filed against her after authorities believe she stole medication at two local care facilities.

Those with Good Shepherd in Mason City say this is an issue that is on the rise.

“The first time medication goes to someone other than who it was intended for there is resident victimization,” says Shari Dunn, Director of Nursing at Good Shepherd.

Dunn says it is standard for all long term care facilities to conduct a narcotic count at the start of each shift change, but even with those safety precautions, there are loopholes.

“Just because the log book says the medication has been check out doesn’t mean it made it to the resident,” she says. That would be where the weak link might come in.”

When a complaint is brought to the facility an investigation begins. Ian Stockberger, the Good Shepherd Administrator says they call the Department Inspections and Appeals and local law enforcement, but he says this issue happens more than some may think.

“The uptick in the abuse of prescription drugs that is sweeping across the whole United States is definitely something that Mason City is not immune to,” says Stockberger.

While the issue is impacting care facilities throughout the United States, Dunn believes this issue is one that is under control.

“Long-term healthcare facilities are doing what they need to do to control the miss dispersal or people taking medication that they aren’t suppose to,” says Dunn.

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