D. Talking with a Resident’s Health Care Provider


When you or another staff member contact a resident’s health care provider, be ready to provide organized information and be prepared to ask for direction. Review the resident’s record prior to contacting the health care provider. Determine the specific conditions or behavior you wish to discuss, including the amount of time the resident appears to have been experiencing such conditions and any other pertinent information you have about the resident. Have the phone number for the pharmacy available.
If another staff member speaks to the health care provider, be sure you find out the results of the contact. Document all calls and instructions given.

Important questions to ask:
  • What is the medicine for?
  • Will the medicine interact with other drugs the resident takes?
  • Are there any special instructions? Does the medication need to be taken with food? Can the resident continue to have alcohol?
  • Are there any side-effects and should we report them?
  • Can we prevent or mitigate the side-effects?
  • What should we do if the person misses a dose?
  • If you called the health care provider because the resident appears to be experiencing problems with the medication, do not hang up until a plan of action has been established.
    The health care provider might ask you to monitor for certain symptoms or discontinue the medication. Document the conversation in the resident’s record.A pharmacist may also be able to answer many of these questions for you.