Medication safety

SA Health has developed a strategic medication safety work plan, the SA Health Medication Safety Program, aligned with local and national priorities, to provide a more uniform and coordinated approach to enhancing the safe use of medicines and reducing potential for medication-related errors.  The South Australian Medication Safety Advisory Group (SAMSAG) will oversee the implementation of the plan.

SA Health supports the implementation of the National Standard for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines.

SA Health has implemented the pharmaceutical reforms for public hospitals. This state and national initiative has increased the safety and quality of medicine use through implementation of the APAC guiding principles for medicines management across the continuum of care. It has also increased equity and access to medicines through implementation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for outpatients and patients on discharge.

SA Health has issued a Policy Directive for standardised national terminology, abbreviations and symbols to be used in the prescribing and administering of medicines in Australian hospitals.

The SA Health Medication Safety Accreditation Resource (PDF 1577KB) has been developed to support Health Services and provides examples of South Australian tools and resources that can be used to demonstrate an action and standard has been met.

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 4 – Medication Safety

The second edition of the NSQHS Standards was endorsed by Health Ministers in 2017. Assessment to the second edition will commence from January 2019.

The Medication Safety Standard is intended to ensure clinicians are competent to safely prescribe, dispense and administer appropriate medicines and to monitor medicine use. It is also intended to ensure consumers are informed about medicines and understand their individual medicine needs and risks.


Clinical governance and quality improvement to support medication management

Organisation-wide systems are used to support and promote safety for procuring, supplying, storing, compounding, manufacturing, prescribing, dispensing, administering and monitoring the effects of medicines.

Documentation of patient information

A patient’s best possible medication history is recorded when commencing an episode of care. The best possible medication history, and information relating to medicine allergies and adverse drug reactions are available to clinicians.

Continuity of medication management

A patient’s medicines are reviewed, and information is provided to them about their medicine needs and risks. A medicines list is provided to the patient and the receiving clinician when handing over care.

Medication management processes

Health service organisations procure medicines for safety. Clinicians are supported to supply, store, compound, manufacture, prescribe, dispense, administer, monitor and safely dispose of medicines.


Alerts and notices

For recent medication safety alerts and notices, see the Medication alerts page.

Telephone: (08) 8204 1944

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