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Kia āta kōwhiri Choosing Wisely

The Choosing Wisely campaign seeks to reduce harm from unnecessary and low-value tests and treatment.

Why do we need an electronically generated medication charting system?

Aged residential care (ARC) facilities use a variety of medication charts when administering medicines to residents. Concerns had been raised by the sector about the diversity of charts in use and the consequent impact this has on resident and staff safety.

Similarly, processes around medicine charting and administration can be difficult or time-consuming. This diverts caregivers from looking after residents’ needs, making the experience of residents and caregivers less than desirable.

In April 2012 the Health Quality & Safety Commission initiated a project to develop a standard medication chart for use in ARC facilities that enhances the safe use of medicines.

We contracted PharmacyPartners Ltd to deliver this project for us. The chart has gone through several iterations.

The electronically generated ARC Medication Chart presented here provides an electronically printed paper chart that is generated by the facility’s community pharmacy. This medication chart required pharmacy dispensing software changes to enable the printing of the ARC Medication Chart from the pharmacy’s system. One dispensary system has made the necessary software changes. 

Testing of this electronically generated ARC Medication Chart (with ARC facilities, their prescribers and pharmacists) demonstrated that the chart improved legibility, was easy to use and interpret, lowered the risk of medication errors and streamlined medicine management processes.

The Commission fully supports the use of integrated electronic prescribing and administration systems. However, we are aware it will be some time before all ARC facilities are in a position to adopt these solutions. This electronically generated paper ARC Medication Chart is viewed as an interim step pending the adoption of integrated electronic prescribing and administration systems.  We also acknowledge that many ARC facilities have already adopted integrated prescribing and administration systems.

Below are the Aged residential care (ARC) Medication Chart implementation and training guide, and supporting charts and forms, which can be downloaded for local use.

Example medication chart forms provided by the pharmacy

These forms are provided, individualised for each resident, by the facilities community pharmacy. They are provided as examples only, and must not be used in practice.

Example medication chart forms provided by the ARC facility

The following PDFs forms are available as fillable PDFs fields (to maintain the integrity of the form layout). The facility provides these forms for each resident:

The PDFs can be downloaded and the information personalised for the ARC facility, and the form saved to a facility computer as a master document. Using facility master documents speeds up the process when updating forms for facility residents.

Facility personalisation can include:

  • facility’s name
  • facility’s address
  • facility’s other contact details
  • prescriber’s name
  • prescriber’s address
  • prescriber’s registration number or other identifiers as appropriate.
Published: 28 Oct 2021 Modified: 28 Feb 2022