Medication safety

SA Health is committed to improving the safety and quality of medicines use to promote optimal patient outcomes through enhanced medicines management.

Underpinning this commitment is the SA Health Medication Safety Program and the SA Medication Safety Advisory Group (SAMSAG), the peak SA Health Advisory group promoting safe use of medicines.

Medication Safety Program

The Medication Safety Program focuses on the prevention of adverse medication events by supporting clinicians and empowering patients to achieve best practice in medication management through implementation of proven and sustainable strategies integrated across all health settings.

The Program is aligned with the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards and is informed by state, national and international goals.

The Medication Safety Program is overseen by the Medicines and Technology Programs Branch and contributes to the overall strategy to improve outcomes from medicines use coordinated by the South Australian Medicines Advisory Committee (SAMAC).

Program initiatives

Medication Safety Program initiatives include:

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 4 – Medication Safety

The second edition of the NSQHS Standards was released in November 2017. Assessment to the second edition will commence from January 2019.

The Medication Safety Standard is intended to ensure clinicians are competent to safely prescribe, dispense and administer appropriate medicines and to monitor medicine use. It is also intended to ensure consumers are informed about medicines and understand their individual medicine needs and risks.


Clinical governance and quality improvement to support medication management

Organisation-wide systems are used to support and promote safety for procuring, supplying, storing, compounding, manufacturing, prescribing, dispensing, administering and monitoring the effects of medicines.

Documentation of patient information

A patient’s best possible medication history is recorded when commencing an episode of care. The best possible medication history, and information relating to medicine allergies and adverse drug reactions are available to clinicians.

Continuity of medication management

A patient’s medicines are reviewed, and information is provided to them about their medicine needs and risks. A medicines list is provided to the patient and the receiving clinician when handing over care.

Medication management processes

Health service organisations procure medicines for safety. Clinicians are supported to supply, store, compound, manufacture, prescribe, dispense, administer, monitor and safely dispose of medicines.

Alerts and notices

For recent medication safety alerts and notices, see the Medication alerts page.

More information

For more information on medication safety, please contact (08) 8204 1944 or email