Why eMedication Management?
Prescriptions play a significant role in healthcare in Australia. On average, more than 200 million scripts are dispensed yearly in Australia.
Manual prescribing and dispensing these prescriptions requires repeated data input, manual signing, lots of paper and restricts practitioners from fully utilising clinical support software.
Patients are inconvenienced by delays in obtaining prescriptions, issues when prescriptions are lost and even confusion over exactly what medications they should be taking and when.
Nearly one in three unplanned hospital admissions in those aged over 75 years is associated with prescribing errors. Hence, preventable medication errors cost around $380 million per year in the public hospital system.
One of the recommendations to reduce medication errors and harm is to use the “five rights”:
- the right patient
- the right drug
- the right dose
- the right route
- the right time
What is eMedication Management?
Digital health systems such as electronic medication management (EMM) can improve the safety and quality of health care. As further eMedication initiatives gather pace, such as medication history lists and medication profiles, more comprehensive medication information will be available to assist in reducing medication errors.
EMM can apply to:
- Prescribing systems, such as general practitioner desktop systems or hospital clinical information systems that have electronic ordering
- Decision support systems, such as evidence-based order sets, allergy checking and medicine interactions
- Dispensing systems, such as pharmacy software and automated dispensing systems
- Ordering and supply solutions, such as the electronic transfer of prescriptions (ETP) and inventory solutions
- Electronic medical records.
What are the benefits of eMedication Management?
The benefits for using an electronic medication management system can reduce the number of preventable adverse medication events, and medication prescribing and dispensing errors. EMM systems can improve the accuracy, visibility and legibility of medical information, so that the communication between professionals and consumers is clearer.
eMedication management will enable point-to-point (practice-to-pharmacy) communication to:
- Enable the practice to check the validity of a lost prescription
- Save time by not having to re-issue a lost prescription
- Enable the practice to verify if a prescription has been filled and dispensed
- Allow practitioners to access accurate and up-to-date information about the patient’s medications and medication history as eHealth initiatives roll out
- Save time by not having to manage discrepancies on the prescription
- Save time by reducing queries from pharmacies that may have problems deciphering the hand-written information on the prescription
EMM Self Assessment Tool
To help health services independently assess the status of their EMM system implementation, the Commission has developed the EMM self-assessment tool (EMM SAT) onlineExternal link. The tool facilitates multi-contributor self-assessment, standardised reporting and quality improvement action plans.
For more information on Medication Management Implementation