SA Health is committed to improving the safety and quality of medicines use to promote optimal patient outcomes through enhanced medicines management.
Underpinning this commitment is the SA Health Medication Safety Program and the SA Medication Safety Advisory Group (SAMSAG), the peak SA Health Advisory group promoting safe use of medicines.
Medication Safety Program
The Medication Safety Program focuses on the prevention of adverse medication events by supporting clinicians and empowering patients to achieve best practice in medication management through implementation of proven and sustainable strategies integrated across all health settings.
The Program is aligned with the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards and is informed by state, national and international goals.
The Medication Safety Program is overseen by the Medicines and Technology Programs Branch and contributes to the overall strategy to improve outcomes from medicines use coordinated by the South Australian Medicines Advisory Committee (SAMAC).
Medication Safety Program initiatives include:
- Supporting healthcare organisations undertaking accreditation in medication safety (National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 4 – Medication Safety)
- Having standardised labels on medicines, fluids and lines to help reduce the risk of medication administration errors.
- Using standardised medication terminology, abbreviations, dose expressions and symbols when prescribing and administering medicines.
- Providing standard medication charts for patient care.
- Implementing pharmaceutical reforms to improve the management of medication used by patients transferring from hospital to the community by accessing medicines via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
- Highlighting high risk medicines and related strategies.
- Providing support and reporting functions for safety audits.
- Training and development in medication safety.
- Facilitating development of statewide medication related policy and guidelines.
National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 4 – Medication Safety
The second edition of the NSQHS Standards was released in November 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.
SA Health Medication Safety Accreditation Resource (PDF 217KB) 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.
For more information on medication safety, please contact 8204 1944 or email HealthMedicationSafety@sa.gov.au
Alerts and notices
For recent medication safety alerts and notices, see the Medication alerts page.