After all, the reasoning goes, the patient brings these medications with him or her into the hospital, why not let him or her take them while they're there instead of making them wait, and letting those drugs go to waste?
Although the comment period ends Dec. 23, objections are already starting to come in.
On the federal website regulations.gov, Stephanie Hutchins, a former hospital nurse who is now a nursing instructor in California, said she is in support of most of the proposed modifications. "However," she wrote, "I DO NOT SUPPORT allowing the patient or a 'support person' to administer medications to hospital patients.
"Currently studies have shown that 30-50% of patients ignore or otherwise compromise instructions concerning their medication," she wrote. "If a person other than the nurse administers medications in the hospital, the potential for lack of adherence and therefore lack of crucial therapeutic benefit from the prescribed meds in the hospital is high."
Hutchins continued, "if nurses are required to monitor meds given by a person other than the nurse to ensure adherence, it would create a time backlog for the nurse, negating much of the benefit of having them given by another person."