In February 2011, West Coast District Health Board (DHB) became the first DHB to implement the national medication chart. Twelve months later, a review of the seven-day chart design began. The final design sought to balance the needs of all clinicians (ie, prescribers, administrators and dispensers) and the needs of all patient populations (ie, medical, surgical, mental health) while maintaining the medication safety principles on which the original chart design had been based.
The review was based on feedback received from clinicians:
The review was also an opportunity to incorporate the paediatric charting requirements, after a separate consultation on paediatric requirements was conducted in February 2012.
One of the recurring themes in the electronic change register was the need for a long-stay chart to reduce the re-prescribing required on long-stay wards and the possible transcription errors that could result. The long-stay chart pilot was conducted in four DHBs during 2011 and the feedback from the focus groups and the available audit results were used to inform the design of the new 16-day chart.
The main changes to the chart design are:
The Medication Safety Expert Advisory Group has agreed that a short-stay/one-day chart should be added to the suite of national medication charts. It is planned to have this chart available by the end of 2012.
Each DHB has a lead who coordinates ordering medication charts. If your organisation would like to start using the charts, please discuss this with your medication safety team.
Posters highlighting the changes to the chart are being sent out to NMC key contacts at DHBs on Friday 31 August 2012. The posters may also be viewed and printed on the link below.