The Commission is working with the Ministry of Health to improve the way medicines are managed. Improving medicine management will result in better quality of care, improved patient safety and more efficient processes.

Checking medicines on computerBringing in new technology is an important part of these improvements. Through the electronic medicines management (eMM) programme we are working towards an electronic system that will give all health care providers access to a person’s medication information and will enable them to manage their medicines more effectively. This includes prescribing, administering, reconciling, dispensing and tracking medicines.

The Commission’s focus has been on the implementation and expansion of the paper national medication chart, and the medicine reconciliation process.  It is also partnering with the Ministry of Health on the transition from paper to electronic medicines management within hospitals.

This includes:

  • Electronic Medication Prescribing & Administration (ePA) –­ allows ­medication to be prescribed and administration to be recorded electronically in hospitals aided by decision support.

    Medication management and patient safety are substantially improved, and decreasing incidents due to illegible handwriting, calculation and transcription errors provides enormous quality and safety benefits.
  • Electronic Medicine Reconciliation (eMR) – an electronic system for hospitals that ensures a patient’s medication information is accurate on admission, transfer and discharge.

    The eMR system captures a patient’s medication history from two or more sources. The medicines are then matched to the patient’s medicines on admission (and subsequent hand-over points) and any differences are electronically reconciled.
  • Electronic Pharmacy (ePx) – an electronic system which enables all aspects of hospital pharmacy practice to be managed within a single system, including, pharmacy dispensing, inventory and cost centre accounting requirements. 

Related Projects

There are a number of other electronic projects being led by the Ministry of Health that support the eMM programme. 

  • NZ Electronic Prescription Service (NZePS):
    • Provides a secure messaging channel for prescribing and dispensing systems to exchange prescription information electronically.
    • Enables a prescription to be generated by the prescriber, transmitted to the NZePS health information exchange broker, and downloaded electronically at the pharmacy.

    • The prescriber can note the reason for prescribing and make other comments at the time of prescribing. This will be sent as part of the prescription information passed electronically to the pharmacy. Prescribers can request a notification when a patient’s medicines are dispensed, and pharmacists can send dispensing comments back to the prescriber.
  • New Zealand Formulary (NZF) – a concise, point of care reference addressing the day-to-day needs of those prescribing, dispensing and administering medicines in New Zealand. The  NZF provides an up-to-date, comprehensive and New Zealand-specific medicines information resource for New Zealanders, New Zealand Universal List of Medicines (NZULM) – combines standardised medicine descriptions from the New Zealand Medicines Terminology (NZMT) with information from Medsafe and the PHARMAC Pharmaceutical Schedule to form an easily accessible one-stop shop for standardised information on medicines 
  • The NZ Universal List of Medicines designed to form an easily accessible one-stop shop for standardised medicines information, and promote safe medicines use through clear, unambiguous naming and the NZMT’s system of describing the strength of a medicine avoids known risk factors which can lead to mistakes.

Ultimately the eMM initiatives will result in faster, safer and more cost-efficient services.

Click here for more information about the Ministry of Health's National Health IT Board eMedicines Programme.

Last updated 27/02/2017