Updated EMM guide: supports safer medication use in hospitals

Thursday, 16 November, 2017

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The reduction of adverse drug events is the priority of an updated EMM guide, launched this week.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care launched the third edition of the guide, called ‘Electronic Medication Management Systems: A guide to safe implementation’, which takes account of newer evidence that has come to light since the second edition was published in 2012. It also reflects the experiences of Australian hospitals that have already implemented electronic medication management (EMM) systems.

Medicines are the most common medical intervention in Australian hospitals. As many as one in nine doses of medicine administered in hospitals are associated with a clinical error.

EMM systems provide doctors, nurses and pharmacists with a safer and more efficient way of prescribing and administering medicines in hospitals. However, EMM systems that are not well planned, not supported by appropriate governance and training or not linked to other clinical information systems can introduce new types of medication errors.

The updated EMM guide provides hospitals with up-to-date information so they can plan and implement EMM systems in complex hospital environments.

Medication errors can occur for a number of reasons, including human error and other factors. Errors can occur at various stages along the medicines management pathway — from the point at which a prescription is written, through to dispensing and the way in which the medicine is administered to or taken by patients.

Automating medication ordering processes produces standardised, legible, complete orders. Combining EMM with clinical decision-support systems can further reduce medication errors.

This updated third edition of the guide has been informed by a review of the second edition, recent international literature, the experiences of Australian EMM system implementation sites and stakeholder consultation. It incorporates feedback from hospitals and from states and territories that have implemented or are implementing EMM systems since the second edition of the guide.

‘Electronic Medication Management Systems: A guide to safe implementation’ includes guidance on scoping, system selection, configuration, implementation, training and ongoing operation that all need to be considered when planning and implementing a safe EMM system.

The guide is available on the commission’s website.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/StockPhotoPro

Originally published here.

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