Standard terminology for electronic management of medications

This story first appeared in the July 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Public health strategies are now being implemented in all states to streamline the supply and economic management of medications in their hospitals, strategies that may also significantly reduce the risk of medication errors for patients. Standard terminology to describe medications and standards-based medicines formularies are key components of Australia’s future eHealth systems.

As readers of Pulse+IT would be well aware, the Australian health system is looking to eHealth solutions to improve the quality of outcomes for patients as well as achieve operational efficiencies to ensure that the health system is affordable and sustainable.

One of the most significant financial costs to the Australian public health system is the supply of medications. Australian and global studies have shown that strategies to reduce medication business process inefficiencies can also significantly reduce the risk of medication errors for patients.

Each state health system now acknowledges that effective management of medications through purchasing, prescribing, dispensing, administration and reconciliation processes will reduce the overall cost of the provision of needed medications to patients. The fundamentals are now in place that allow a state health system to effectively manage the business of supplying medications and also reap the benefits to patients and clinicians that follow.

In recent years electronic prescribing and administration initiatives in hospitals have helped reduce the frequency of medication errors. Medical record and medication chart legibility errors are typically the first problems to be addressed by introducing clinical software solutions. Significant progress has also been made in reducing medication administration and pharmacy dispensing errors by the use of software tools.

To read the full story, click here for the July 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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