25 May 2018

Department of Health responds to CCC report

The Department of Health acknowledges the findings from the CCC’s report into medication discrepancies.

Health Director General Dr David Russell-Weisz said Health Service Providers would carefully consider the recommendations and, where appropriate, take action in the context of patient safety and the expectations of the wider community.

“The volume and nature of medicine management, in a variety of settings across the State, makes this issue a complex and constantly changing aspect of hospital management,” Dr Russell-Weisz said.

“In 2014-15 alone, more than 2.5 million Schedule 8 or Schedule 4R tablets moved through hospital pharmacies and wards, with an average daily usage of 7400 tablets.

“While any drug discrepancies are a concern, it should be noted the total number of reported drug discrepancies by WA Health was small compared to the overall number of drug transactions.”

Dr Russell-Weisz said the WA health system’s number one priority was patient safety.

“Our hospitals are committed to continuous improvement in all aspects of health care,” he said.

“The matters raised by the CCC will be given due consideration, noting that a number of strategies are already in place with others soon to be implemented. These include:

  • reviewing relevant policies and procedures
  • undertaking regular and random pharmacy compliance audits
  • improving education and orientation to new medical practitioners on the appropriate use of prescriber numbers and prescriptions.”

Dr Russell-Weisz said Health Services Providers would continue to work to ensure stringent quality control measures were in place and maintained.


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