Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 16(3) November 2003 : 51-61.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2003.16340
Ideas in Leadership

Developing Guidelines for an Interdisciplinary Practice Approach: Administration of Oral Medications in a Community Mental Health Setting

Margaret Gehrs and Tracey Holz


Mental health reform, health services restructuring and changes in mental health legislation have resulted in a shift from hospital-based to community-based treatment for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness. A system-wide response to this trend has been the implementation of interdisciplinary Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams in the province of Ontario. The need for efficient, client-centred versus discipline-centred community care has prompted ACT teams to challenge traditional scopes of practice. This paper describes the Oral Medication Administration Guidelines Project as a mechanism for facilitating innovative team-based work design for oral medication administration in the community. The resulting provincewide guidelines can assist interdisciplinary ACT teams to design relevant training, improve work efficiencies and implement policies and procedures to manage client risk in relation to oral medication administration in the community.



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