Department of Health

Residential aged care: medicine storage and record keeping

Key messages

  • Approved residential aged care providers must follow storage and record-keeping requirements for all Schedule 4 and Schedule 8 poisons.
  • The requirements apply where a resident has been supplied on prescription with a Schedule 4 or Schedule 8 poison.
  • Aged care facilities with a health services permit to hold imprest stock must follow regulations associated with imprest stock.

The Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) specify storage and record keeping for approved providers of aged care services for Schedule 4, Schedule 8 and Schedule 9 medicine.

The Regulations apply to aged care services where a resident has been supplied with the medicine on a prescription or a chart instruction written on a hospital medication chart (Schedule 4 or Schedule 8 poisons; discharge medicine) or a chart instruction written on a residential medication chart (Schedule 4 poison).

Residential aged care services – scheduled medicine storage requirements

The Regulations specify that, for aged care services the approved provider:

  • must store Schedule 4 medicine in a lockable storage facility
  • must store dispensed Schedule 8 medicine in a lockable room or a lockable storage facility that is firmly affixed to the floor or wall
  • must ensure that any storage facility for a Schedule 4 or 8 medicine is locked, except when it has to be opened to perform a specific action directly related to the medicine, such as to administer the medicine or to do an inventory check
  • may use a single storage system for dispensed Schedule 4 and dispensed Schedule 8 medicine for all residents receiving that medicine; approved providers do not have to keep separate storage facilities for residents receiving a high level of care and other residents.

 The above requirements apply to Schedule 4 and Schedule 8 medicine that is supplied on a prescription or a chart instruction written on a hospital medication chart (for discharge medicine) or a chart instruction written on a residential medication chart for a specific resident (i.e. dispensed medicine).

If the aged care service maintains an imprest stock of medicine (i.e. medicine that is not dispensed) any Schedule 8 imprest stock must be stored in a drug cabinet that complies with the security criteria specified in the Regulations.

To maintain an imprest stock, the establishment must hold a health services permit issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Residential aged care services – recording requirements for scheduled drugs

Approved providers must maintain, and be able to retrieve, accurate and complete records of transactions (including administration) for Schedule 4 and 8 medicine.

Approved providers are not required to keep a drug register for Schedule 8 medicine, that shows the balance of stock on hand, if the medicine is supplied on a prescription or chart instruction for a specific resident in tamper-evident dose-administration containers that are labelled with administration times (i.e dispensed Schedule 8 medicine).

Approved providers are required to keep a drug register for records of administration of Schedule 8 imprest stock.

Reviewed 08 October 2015

Health.vic

Contact details

Postal address: Medicines and Poisons Regulation Department of Health GPO Box 4057 Melbourne VIC 3001

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Department of Health

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