Keys! Do you know where yours are?
Medication security and accountability is extremely important. Keeping track of the keys to your medication carts and medication storage areas needs to be a priority. If your keys go missing, it is best practice to have the lock changed out by your pharmacy. This can be costly, especially if you misplace keys to multiple medication carts. It is surprisingly not unheard of for a community to lose all their spare keys.
Tips for proper key handling:
Keep spare keys in a secure location that is only accessible to people authorized to have access to medications.
Have people sign off for keys at change of shift.
Make sure you have your keys in hand before locking the cart.
When there is staff turnover, especially of a supervisor, make sure you not only have their building keys, but also the spare keys to the medication carts.
SNFs: Consider keeping the spares in your EKit for easy tracking, access, and security.
Be consistent about where you place your keys.
Be extra diligent when in memory care areas.
If you lost a key and are using the spare, tell your supervisor/pharmacy right away.
Get rid of old keys that no longer go to anything.
Put keys on tamper-proof key rings.
Tips on keeping your locks in good working order:
Report any lock issues as soon as possible.
To keep the locks in good working order and to keep dirt and grime from building up, have your facility department spray the locks quarterly with either a silicone spray or white lithium grease. WD-40 is to be used only if nothing else is available. It does not help with prevention like the other two products. (WD-40 as a brand name sells the other two products.)
DO NOT put tape or stickers on the keys to label them. The adhesive will work its way down the key and gum-up the locks.