18 September 2018

Medication Safety Week

Medication Safety Week aims to promote the safe and quality use of medicines with health professionals and consumers to reduce the risk of patient harm.

Medication safety is one of the 10 National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards which provide a standard for safe patient management in hospitals and health services.

The themes for Medication Safety Week 2018 include:

Reporting clinical alerts

A clinical alert is a condition which has the potential to be of critical importance to a patient’s care during their first 24 hours after admission to hospital.

Clinicians can raise a clinical alert (for example a serious adverse drug reaction such as anaphylaxis) by completing a MR Alert 2 form. This vital information is then available statewide through the Patient Administration System for when the patient presents at a hospital.

Access the fact sheet for more information (PDF) and the WA Clinical Alert Policy 0053/17.

Safe use of opioids in hospital

Opioids are one of the most frequently reported medication class involved in medication-related clinical incidents.

Doctors, nurses and midwives are reminded to be diligent and aware when prescribing, administering and monitoring opioid medications to optimise therapy and minimise risk of harm to the patient.

Access the fact sheet for more information (PDF).

Correct use of oral liquids and oral syringes

It is very important to ensure that all oral liquid medications are not drawn into a syringe and administered accidentally via the parenteral route. The result of administering oral medication via the parenteral route can be fatal.

Oral liquid medications are not sterile, contain particles, are acidic and irritant to the vein, and are not equivalent dosing to parenteral medication.

Oral syringes have been designed with purple plungers to distinguish them from parental syringes to reduce the risk of this occurring.

Access the fact sheet for more information (PDF).