Taranaki DHB trials electronic tool to reduce medication errors

8 Sep 2011

Taranaki District Health Board is trialling a new electronic tool to help reduce medication errors.

Electronic Medicine Reconciliation collects, compares and communicates the most accurate possible list of medicines a patient is taking. Details of any allergies and adverse drug reactions are included.

This information is electronically available to everyone caring for the patient to make sure they get “the right medicine in the right dose at the right time.” The new tool is part of the national Medication Safety Programme.

New Plymouth GP Dr Peter Catt says it is a pleasure to use.

“I found it excellent and easy for me to follow and to transfer into my notes,” he said.

“My patient's partner also found it excellent as he understood exactly what all the changes were. Congratulations to the team! I think it is a great improvement in safety.”

Electronic Medicine Reconciliation is the first in a series of changes to improve patient care around medicines during a hospital stay and as the patient transfers back to GP care.

The programme electronically sends information to the GP around what medication a patient is on.  

Taranaki is using the system that was developed by Counties Manukau DHB, with Waitemata DHB and the National eMedicines Programme.  

These three DHBs are early adopters of electronic Medicine Reconciliation and are evaluating it before it is rolled out across all hospitals in New Zealand.  

Background

What is medicine reconciliation?

Medicine Reconciliation is a process that collects, compares and communicates the most accurate list possible of all medications a patient is taking, together with details of any allergies and/or adverse drug reactions to ensure at any given time the patient gets the right medication.  It looks at what the patients are taking when they come into hospital, what they take during their stay and what they leave hospital with.

Who is behind the national Medication Safety Programme?

The Health Quality & Safety Commission, National Health IT Board and National Health Board work together on the national Medication Safety Programme, including electronic and paper-based approaches

Last updated 06/01/2012