SHPA outlines four priorities to turn the tide on medication safety

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has marked World Patient Safety Day by outlining actionable steps that can be taken by Australian hospitals to improve safe patient care, including partnered and interim charting, seven-day services and dedicated medication safety programs.

With Medication Safety and the Quality Use of Medicines Australia’s tenth National Health Priority Area, SHPA’s Medication Safety Position Statement outlines four priorities in harnessing the hospital pharmacy workforce to implement evidence-based service changes.

SHPA Medication Safety Chair Toni Howell says harm from medications is avoidable and innovative pharmacist-models, partnered with patients and the multidisciplinary team, improve safety.

‘Every year in Australia 250,000 hospital admissions are a result of medication-related problems, costing $1.4 billion, and the transition of care between the hospital and the community remains a known challenge, as identified by the ongoing Aged Care Royal Commission.

‘In response, the SHPA Medication Safety Leadership Committee identified the expansion of Partnered Pharmacist Medication Charting (PPMC) to all Australian hospitals, the use of Interim Medication Charts in key transitions of care settings, seven-day extended hours access to clinical pharmacy services in all health settings where medications are being used, and Pharmacist-led Medication Safety Programs in all Australian hospitals, as the way forward.’

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says hospital pharmacists are central to the collective effort to improve care outcomes through a stronger focus on medication safety in Australia.

‘All Australians are entitled to safe, effective and timely medication management services while they are undergoing medical treatment.

‘With the use of medication, the most common healthcare intervention, and more than nine million Australians taking a prescribed medication every day, medication safety is core business for all health service organisations.

‘Pharmacists are experts in medication management and should be integrated into the multidisciplinary healthcare team, working in partnership with health practitioners, patients and consumers to lead, facilitate and promote high standards of safe and timely prescribing, dispensing, administration and monitoring of medicines.

‘We are proud to release SHPA’s Medication Safety Position Statement today, which supports this crucial endeavour, unlocking the potential of hospital pharmacists to ensure safe and optimal medication use for all Australians.’

Download the media release.