24 Jul 2012 | Medication Safety
Around 130 key stakeholders and health professionals gathered in Wellington on 19 July to celebrate the launch of the New Zealand Formulary (NZF) with the Hon. Peter Dunne, Associate Minister of Health.
Minister Dunne spoke of the need for a coherent approach to the use of medicines in our health care system as one of the drivers for the establishment of the New Zealand Medicines Strategy and the reason why Actioning Medicines New Zealand committed to the development of a medicines formulary in 2007.
In articulating the differences between the NZF today and the formularies of old, Minister Dunne painted a future on how health professionals could access the NZF in the digital age via an eReader or a smart phone, and that the NZF will have “extra value when incorporated into clinical health IT systems”.
The partnership, selected after an extensive RFP process between BPACnz, BPACinc and the UK based Royal Pharmaceutical Society – under the leadership of Professor Murray Tilyard has delivered the NZF in an impressive nine months, exactly as promised.
The NZF (based on the British National Formulary and specifically adapted for New Zealand) provides robust clinical information about the use of me dicines alongside PHARMAC and Medsafe information in one place. It is a true one stop shop for health professionals looking for high quality and up-to-date information about medicines that are used in New Zealand.
Having this information available at the point of care will promote consistency of practice across New Zealand, reduce medication errors and will promote safer and more appropriate medicines management.
The NZF is built on the NZULM and coded using standardised medicines terminology. This allows for a fully interoperable medications management system across the continuums of care.
The sector is already showing their readiness for the NZF. Auckland University School of Pharmacy has begun incorporating the NZF into its teaching programme, and the team at Health Pathways are looking at ways to incorporate the NZF into their referral pathways for Canterbury, Aoraki, West Coast, Nelson Marlborough, and Hutt Valley DHBs. A number of hospitals and health related software vendors are also looking to utilise the NZF.
The NZF is available now, free of charge to all health professionals via a website www.nzformulary.org and a downloadable eBook.