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Medication charts

SA Health supports the implementation of the National Inpatient Medication Chart (NIMC), a suite of nationally approved medication charts to promote safe use of medicines through standardisation of documentation. A standard chart ensures the same chart is used wherever a health professional works and wherever a patient is within a hospital.

Use of the NIMC is mandatory for all Australian health services and required for accreditation purposes under the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 4 Medication Safety.

Inpatient charts

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care released a new version of the National Inpatient Medication Chart in July 2013.

Change summaries

See the below fact sheets for information on the changes recently made to the NIMC charts:

The National Inpatient Medication Charts (NIMC) to be used are:

Acute care: EPAS Downtime Form (PDF 256KB)

  • for metropolitan hospitals and/or use during any EPAS downtime
  • contains a pre-printed venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis section

Acute care: Non metro chart (PDF 264KB)

  • for non-metropolitan hospitals
  • contains a pre-printed VTE prophylaxis section
  • contains a separate section specifically for telephone orders

Acute care long stay chart (PDF 239KB)

  • does not contain a pre-printed VTE prophylaxis section

GP e-version (PDF 102KB)

  • contains a pre-printed VTE prophylaxis section
  • can be incorporated into electronic prescribing systems to assist adoption of the chart in rural and remote areas.

Paediatric chart (PDF 375KB)

Once only, pre-medication, telephone orders and nurse initiated medicines section

From January 2015 versions of the NIMC acute charts contain two columns for two nurses to document having received a telephone order for a medication. This section is designed to enhance clarity of recording and verification of telephone orders and is in alignment with the National Inpatient Medication Chart.

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis section

New versions of the NIMC acute chart and the GP e-version (PDF 102KB) contain a pre-printed VTE prophylaxis section. This section is designed to reduce the rate of healthcare associated VTE by prompting prescribers to assess and document the risk of VTE for all adult patients and to prescribe prophylaxis (pharmacological and/or mechanical) where appropriate.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care VTE Prevention Resource Centre provides resources to assist in the implementation of VTE prevention programs.

Auditing

The NIMC national audit, conducted every two years, forms a component of the ongoing quality assurance process to evaluate the use of the NIMC and compliance with its safety features.

Further information regarding national audits can be found on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website.

For information regarding local auditing please contact Medicines and Technology Programs.

Managing the NIMC locally

The NIMC Local Management Guidelines provide detailed guidance on the scope of changes to the NIMC which can be authorised at local levels, for example state, Local Health Network and individual health service organisation level. Proposals for change should be submitted to the South Australian Medication Safety Advisory Group (SAMSAG) which has jurisdictional oversight of the National Inpatient Medication Chart (NIMC) in South Australia. Referral to the Health Services Medication Expert Advisory Group, which provides oversight at a national level, may be undertaken where appropriate as per the Local Management Guidelines.

Feedback

South Australian hospitals have the opportunity to submit suggestions and feedback through the South Australian NIMC Change Register (DOC 34KB). Amendments made to the state register will be submitted to the national register. Major amendments will only be considered if accompanied by supporting audit data.

Ordering

Medication charts are available from Openbook Howden Design and Printing.

Training

An online training course is strongly advised for all health professional staff and students involved in medication management (for example prescribing, dispensing or administration) in hospital settings.

For more information, see the Medication safety training and development page.

Charts in development

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care also provides information about charts in development, including the National Interim Residential Medication Administration Chart and the National Subcutaneous Insulin Form, on the Medication Charts section of their website.

Further information

For further information on medication charts please contact Medicines and Technology Programs.

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