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 a range of and the national labelling recommendations.

SA Health has commenced implementing 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).

SA Health has issued a 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 national standard describes systems to reduce the occurrence of medication incidents, and improve the safety and quality of medicine use including:

  • Governance and systems for medication safety
    Health service organisations have mechanisms for the safe prescribing, dispensing, supplying, administering, storing, manufacturing, compounding and monitoring of the effects of medicines.
  • Documentation of patient information
    The clinical workforce accurately records a patient’s medication history and this history is available throughout the episode of care.
  • Medication management processes
    The clinical workforce is supported for the prescribing, dispensing, administering, storing, manufacturing, compounding and monitoring of medicines.
  • Continuity of medication management
    The clinician provides a complete list of a patient’s medicines to the receiving clinician and patient when handing over care or changing medicines.
  • Communicating with patients and carers
    The clinical workforce informs patients about their options, risks and responsibilities for an agreed medication management plan.


Alerts and notices

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

Telephone: (08) 8226 7080

^ Back to top