Continuity in medication management occurs when all components of the medication management cycle, relevant to the episode of care, are completed and information is transferred to the next care setting.
In accordance with the Australian Pharmaceutical Advisory Council’s (APAC) Guiding principles to achieve continuity in medication management, each hospital should have policies and guidelines in place to ensure continuity in medication management. This means the hospital and health care professional will maintain complete and accurate information about the patient’s medicines and that it will be available at the point of care. Responsibility and accountability for collecting and maintaining this information should be documented in these medication management policies and guidelines.
Australian Pharmaceutical Advisory Council’s guiding principles
principles one to three address organisational obligations in leadership, responsibility and accountability for medication management within the organisation.
principles four to nine outline specific patient care activities to ensure continuity in medication management.
principle 10 relates to quality assurance.
Key performance indicators
The South Australian APAC key performance indicators were developed by SA Health to measure the impact of implementing each of the APAC guiding principles. Where possible, these were aligned with existing national quality use of medicines indicators.
SA Health's Continuity in Medication Management Handbook
SA Health has produced a handbook to assist hospitals to implement the patient care activities described in the APAC guiding principles. The Handbook (PDF 1870KB) is a useful resource for improving medication management and includes information on the following topics:
medication review and reconciliation
medication action plan
medicines information for patients
ongoing access to medication
communicating medicines information to other health care professionals
Online courses and other resources
A list of online training courses and other resources are available for continuity in medication management. See the following pages:
Obtaining complete and accurate information about a patient’s previous adverse drug reactions and allergies is a critical component of taking a best possible medication history. Documentation and communication of both known and new adverse drug events needs to be considered at each step of the medication management cycle; for example, prior to prescribing, dispensing and administering a medicine.
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