Managing medication safely

Managing medication safely

The preparation and administration of medication is a core activity that our patients rely on us to get right every time.

During Accreditation week (7-11 June), assessors will want to see clinicians safely prescribing, dispensing and administering appropriate medicines, as well as monitoring medicine use.

Here are some key areas of focus to ensure we are accreditation-ready and so that you feel confident and comfortable when you meet with the assessors in June:

Medication refrigerators

  • Check and document the CURRENT, MINIMUM and MAXIMUM temperature once a day for all medication fridges and twice a day for all medication fridges storing vaccines
  • In the event of a temperature excursion (fridge outside the range of 2° to 8°C), document and take the corrective action steps outlined in the ‘Medication and Vaccine Refrigerator Temperature Monitoring Form’.
  • If your clinical area stores vaccines or does not have 24-hour staff presence, a data logger (or centralised monitoring) must be used. Check the data every week.

Insulin storage and labelling

  • Once you open an insulin vial/pen, label it with the patient’s name, UR number and date of opening
  • Do not return insulin to the refrigerator once opened. Store it in a locked medication storage facility (WOW/trolley).

Medication allergies

  • All prescribers, nurses/midwives and pharmacists are responsible for ensuring medication allergy and adverse drug reaction information is documented.
  • Obtaining a comprehensive medication allergy and adverse drug reaction history for each patient ensures that appropriate clinical decisions can be made.
  • Ask the patient/seek the following information for each medication allergy or adverse drug reaction and document in the EMR/medication chart:
    • Substance/Medicine name: Be specific to medicine and avoid documenting class unless confirmed (e.g. amoxicillin rather than penicillin)
    • Severity: Severe/life-threatening, moderate or mild
    • Source: Who provided the information, e.g. patient or GP/Doctor
    • Reaction: Description, e.g. rash

For more information, visit the medication safety intranet page or contact MedicationSafety@monashhealth.org.

 

Approved by Anjali Dhulia, Chief Medical Officer



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