New initiative at Timaru Hospital will help prevent medication errors

3 Nov 2011 | Medication Safety

Timaru Hospital is rolling out the National Medication Chart this week, joining other hospitals around the country who have been introducing it over the past six months.

The National Medication Chart (NMC) keeps a record of all the medications taken by a patient while they are in hospital. Each patient has their own chart which forms part of their patient record.

Until recently, every DHB created and used their own version of a medication chart, but by the end of this year all DHBs and hospitals in New Zealand are planning to use the same document.

Chief Medical Officer Bill Taine says the National Medication Chart standardises the way medicines are prescribed across the country and reduces the risk of medication chart errors. It has been designed to make a stay in hospital safer for patients.

“The aim is to get consistency across all DHBs so when staff move between hospitals they are already familiar with one chart. This reduces the chance of mistakes,” he says.

The new chart has been designed to address some of the issues around medication, such as patient allergies or drug reactions. It is also designed to encourage  legible hand writing from doctors. 

“The chart is being rolled out across all clinical areas on the main Timaru Hospital site, including the surgical and medical wards, mental health and the Jean Todd Maternity Unit.  Within a week I expect all patients to be using the new chart,” says Mr Taine.

Article is from South Canterbury DHB's newsletter, Healthbeat.

Last updated 28/02/2017