Medication charts

Background

In July 2003, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (formerly the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care) established a National Medication Chart Working Group to provide leadership and direction to reduce patient harm resulting from medication error. The introduction of a common medication chart was considered a significant quality improvement strategy aimed at reducing patient harm resulting from errors in the medication documentation processes. Safety and quality improvements were proposed through standardising processes of communication, optimising workflow patterns and introducing functions to improve the safe, effective and efficient use of medicines.

In April 2004, Australia's Health Ministers agreed that in order to reduce harm to patients from medication errors, all public hospitals would be using a common medication chart by June 2006. This meant that the same chart would be used wherever a doctor or nurse works and wherever a patient was within a public hospital.

In December 2008 Australian Health Ministers endorsed the paediatric versions of the shortstay and longstay National Inpatient Medication Chart for use in public hospitals in Australia whenever paediatric patients are treated. The paediatric charts were developed by Children’s Hospital Australasia, under the auspices of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC).

Standardised Charts

Endorsed Inpatient Medication Charts for ADULTS in WA public hospitals

Short stay medication chart

Long stay medication chart

WA NIMC User Guidelines

Variable dose chart

Endorsed Inpatient Medication Charts for PAEDIATRIC patients in WA public hospitals

NEONATAL Medication Chart - developed and used at King Edward Memorial Hospital

National Inpatient Medication Chart (NIMC) Audit

The NIMC Audit is a state-wide review of the NIMC is being used in hospitals. The NIMC is a nationally standardised inpatient medication chart that was introduced to reduce medication errors and adverse medication events. This mandatory audit is conducted every two years, at the same time of year to provide snapshots of NIMC practice. However, organisations may undertake local and focussed audits in the interim.

For further information, please refer to the National Inpatient Medication Chart (NIMC) Audit page.

Endorsed Specialist Medication Charts for ADULTS in WA public hospitals

Changing the inpatient medication charts

Under the direction of the Australian Commission of Safety and Quality on Health Care (external site), a National Inpatient Medication Chart (NIMC) Oversight Committee has been established to provide national leadership for the NIMC and the paediatric NIMC (PNIMC). The Oversight Committee is responsible for maintaining the standardisation of the NIMC across Australia and for considering proposals from States/Territories and hospitals to change the chart.

The NIMC Oversight Committee has developed National Guidelines (external site) outlining changes to the NIMC which can be authorised at State and Territory levels.

The NIMC has been adapted in WA to reflect local needs. In order to maintain the standard safety components and adhere to the underlying principle of standardisation to optimise patient safety, sections of the chart other than the hospital logo and MR number are not to be changed without approval of the Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit (previously known as Office of Safety and Quality in Healthcare [OSQH]).

The Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit is advised on any matters related to the NIMC and all other standardised medication charts in use throughout WA Health by the WA Medication Chart Advisory Committee.

All major changes to the NIMC need endorsement from the NIMC Oversight Committee. Recommendations for change to the NIMC should be lodged via the Change Register Form. Recommendations for change must be evidence based, with the primary objective of improving patient safety.

Printing inpatient medication charts 

For printing any of the inpatient medication charts please contact Print Media Group, which holds the printing contracts with WA Health.

Contact details:
Print Media Group
PO Box 110
Cloverdale WA 6985

Unit 2, 92 Francisco Street
Belmont WA 6104

Phone: (08) 6272 4618
Fax: (08) 9478 1544
Web: www.pmg.com.au

More information

Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit
Address: 189 Royal Street, East Perth
Phone: 9222 4080
Email: qicm@health.wa.gov.au

Produced by

Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit