Medication Administration Tops 2012 List of Common Deficiencies in Assisted Living

Deficiencies in medication administration tops the list of most common deficiencies made in assisted living in 2012, according to data compiled by the Assisted Living Foundation of America (ALFA), followed by resident admission requirements and ongoing resident assessments. 

ALFA compiled a list of the most common citations in assisted living by contacting each state’s regulatory agencies and collecting data. In cases where state regulatory bodies didn’t have a method for determining the most common deficiencies, ALFA would ask regulators for their expert opinion.

Nearly nine in 10 (86%) of states reported deficiencies in medication administration in 2012, up from 83% last year. This encompasses not providing medication as directed; having an out-of-date physician order; and documenting medication administration incorrectly.


“The prevalence of these citations indicates the importance of training and procedures that focus on both proper medication administration and documentation,” says ALFA in the report’s executive summary. 

More than three-quarters (76%) of states states also reported errors in resident admission requirements, up from 71% in 2011, while the percentage of states reporting deficiencies in ongoing resident assessments leapt from 54% to 73% in 2012.

Deficiencies were classified into 17 categories. While the top three most commonly reported deficiencies across states remained unchanged from last year, more states are listing those deficiencies in their top ten lists, ALFA notes, and more states provided data this year.


Deficiencies relating to resident care, food service, staff health, and emergency preparedness were cited more commonly in 2012 compared to the previous year. Despite the increase in data, though, the number of states reporting a high number of deficiencies related to level of care requirements and fire code violations decreased this year.

“Understanding state regulators’ focus and priorities in their oversight of assisted living communities can help your company with the creation and improvement of quality assurance initiatives as well as the advancement of the overall level of care provided to the seniors you serve,” writes Rick Grimes, ALFA’s president and CEO.

Download the executive overview or access the full report.

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Written by Alyssa Gerace

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