Annual Refresher Requirement and Guidance

Although training done under the MATY program does not expire or require retraining or recertification, the completion of an annual refresher is required to keep the certification in good standing. While neither the MATY curriculum, nor VAISEF offer strict requirements as to the content of these annual refreshers, it is suggested that they focus on those areas of a facility’s medication administration program that have been identified throughout the year as needing improvement. While all staff and programs strive to ensure the health and well being of their clients, facilities engaging in this performance and quality improvement (PQI) process will inevitably be able to identify areas of improvement in their medication administration program.

A facility’s on-going medication administration PQI process should examine areas such as:

  • errors in medication administration (i.e., Six Rights of Medication Administration)
  • documenting medication errors
  • issues associated with medication administration records (MARs)
  • medication storage
  • proper labeling
  • transportation of medication
  • proper use/management of over-the-counter (OTC) medications
  • proper disposal/destruction of medications
  • staff ability to recognize the effectiveness of client’s medications and knowledge of medication side-effects
  • staff communication with clients, including educating clients on the purpose of their prescribed medications
  • managing refusals

Facilities that go through this annual PQI process will be able to better identify those areas where MATY-trained staff need refreshing. Facilities should not, however, limit their PQI process to examining only those bulleted areas above; instead, administrators and MATY-trained staff should think in terms of examining all areas of the MATY curriculum to incorporate in their quality improvement process. This is also an opportunity to discuss any clients served whose medication administration needs are not covered by MATY.

Suggestions on how to facilitate a MATY annual refresher may include:

  • Structuring the facility’s refresher to include those areas identified by the facility’s PQI process.
  • Encouraging participants to discuss specific issues they may have encountered so the others might benefit from the real-life experiences of their colleagues.
  • Post-test participants to both ensure participants continue to possess the competencies needed to properly administer the facility’s medication program as well as provide the organization with documentation that they have properly trained staff administering medications. Pre-testing is also an option. Suggestions for testing content include, but are not limited to:
    • test-type questions related to those specific PQI areas that were addressed
    • questions related to the Six Rights of Medication Administration
    • have participants “set-up” a MAR from a physician’s written order
    • create a test-copy MAR that contains multiple errors and have participants identify these errors and correct them

Who can facilitate MATY annual refresher?

MATY annual refreshers can only be facilitated by a MATY-trained individual or by a person otherwise licensed to administer medications (RN, LPN, MD, other licensed health care professional, or individual certified to administer medication under another program). Such individual should be familiar with the facility’s policies and procedures and MATY curriculum.

What is the required length of time for the annual refresher?

While the MATY program does not require a specific length of time for the annual refresher, the length of time should be adequate enough to incorporate areas of needed focus, allow facilitator to determine participants have the knowledge they need to effectively implement the facility’s medication administration program, and if applicable to the organization, allow for post-testing and feedback.