A quick search of the web quickly pulls up sites where nurses are sharing the anguish of being accused of not appropriately wasting or diverting a controlled substance. Pyxis errors are increasingly common reasons for termination and being reported to the Board. Sometimes the nurse did fail to waste appropriately or diverted drugs. Even such actions don't always spell the end of your career. But what if you did not do it? Well there are reasons nurses are thought to have committed a reportable act. There are also reasonable explanations. Medication dispensing machines are not fool proof. You can find yourself caught. Read on.
Witness failed to exit
If you are logged in and another nurse acting as a witness fails to complete the transaction by EXITING out, your log in not the witness' will remain open. Always check to ensure the waste was recorded properly and that you are logged out.
Failure to complete tranaction
If you completed a witnessed waste properly but you or the witness accidentally hit cancel instead of exit or you left your log in open for 1 minute until log out, then such as your waste may not be recorded. The count will be off and no evidence of your waste. The Charge Nurse is responsible for recognizing all discrepancies but may fail to. Always be sure you and the witness confirm the transaction was recorded accurately.
Nurses have reported when logging in their fingerprint brought up a different user. Pay close attention that you are logged in as you. And send an email to pharmacy and your Director to keep a paper trail.
Failure to waste when withdrawn
Always waste at the time you withdraw the medication. If a discrepancy is discovered before you get back or locate an available witness.....its too late. Even in an emergency or when a witness is not available, WAIT until you can waste at the time you removed the medication.
I've heard of several other discrepancies that are not explainable, while using medication administration machines. To protect yourself check and recheck the transaction is properly completed and recorded in the system correctly. Sounds burdensome but without close up cameras you can find yourself accussed of committing a potential diversion of controlled substances.