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Changes to nursing home regulations now permanent

October 28, 2020
Accommodations made during COVID-19 have now been written into the regulations.

The temporary changes that were made to the Nursing Homes Operation Regulation and the Nursing Homes General Regulation (referred to as the “nursing home regulations”) during COVID-19 have now been made permanent. These changes enable any qualified, regulated healthcare professionals to prescribe medication or order treatments for a nursing home resident according to their scope of practice. The changes also enable nurse practitioners to act as primary care providers, admitting and assessing facility residents as well as offering follow-up care.

The changes in the nursing home regulations

  • allow pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and other types of qualified regulated healthcare professionals to prescribe drugs for facility residents in accordance with their unique regulations and standards of practice;
  • increase access to quality care for facility residents and allow operators to better adapt to healthcare-related problems as they arise; and
  • allow additional types qualified regulated health care professionals to order therapeutic diets for facility residents.

As a result of these changes, pharmacists providing services for patients residing in these facilities may prescribe, adapt, or extend any medication for these patients according to the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (SPPPT).

The updated regulations came into effect on August 15, 2020.

Licensees and pharmacists are reminded that all records of care created for their patients that reside in these facilities must be maintained at the licensed pharmacy associated with the pharmacy service in accordance with Standards 7, 11, 12, 18, and Appendix A of the SPPPT and the Pharmacy and Drug Regulation.