Criterion QI2.2 – Safe and quality use of medicines

        1. Criterion QI2.2 – Safe and quality use of medicines

Indicator


QI2.2 A Our patients are informed of the purpose, importance, benefits, and risks of their medicines and treatments.

QI2.2 B Our patients are made aware of their role in their own treatment.

QI2.2 C Our clinical team accesses current information on medicines, and reviews our prescribing patterns, in accordance with best available evidence.

QI2.2 D Our clinical team ensures that patients and other health providers to whom we refer receive an accurate and current medicines list.

QI2.2 E Our clinical team ensures that medicines, samples and medical consumables are acquired, stored, administered, supplied and disposed of in accordance with manufacturers’ directions and relevant laws.

Why this is important

If patients understand the reason for taking medications, and the benefits and risks associated with particular medicines, they can make informed decisions about their treatment and will be more likely to follow the recommended treatment plan.

Having access to current information about medicines enables practitioners to engage in best practice prescribing of medications for patient care.

Antimicrobial resistance is a significant and growing global health issue that must be addressed in a unified and strategic manner. By including an antimicrobial stewardship program in your service, you can help to maintain the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Antimicrobial stewardship can help prevent the emergence of antimicrobial resistance and decrease preventable healthcare-associated infection.

Patients must not use medicines, samples or medical consumables that have been prescribed for other patients and/or after their expiry dates.

Meeting this Criterion

Medication purpose, options, benefits, risks

Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) leaflets can help patients to understand the purpose, options, benefits and risks of their medicines. It is particularly important that patients understand the difference between generic drugs and trade-named drugs so dosage problems are avoided. If a patient has low levels of literacy, or the information is not available in the patient’s preferred language, it may be appropriate to use visual media or translators.

Patients’ role in their own treatment

Providing patients with education not only improves their knowledge, it is also likely to improve their adherence to treatment plans. One of the most commonly recommended strategies to improve patients’ adherence is to build the patient–practitioner relationship.4

You could also tell patients about a number of online resources, so that they can find out more about their medications and the purpose of their treatments. These include:

Your practice could use guidelines for the quality use of medicines. Some available resources include:

You could reinforce key messages with patients about appropriate antibiotic use and actions that can be taken to reduce antibiotic resistance.

Current medicines list

Practitioners need to regularly review a patient’s current medications to ensure that the list in their health record is up to date and to reduce the risk of errors being made when prescribing or referring.

Take particular care when prescribing medicines that sound alike or look alike, particularly when selecting from drop-down boxes in clinical information systems.

A practitioner must:

  • confirm a patient’s current medicines list and known allergies before prescribing or changing treatment
  • mark acute medications, including antibiotics, as non-current when they are no longer required (some clinical software packages will automatically mark acute medicines as non-current when the calculated duration of the supply has expired)
  • use reviews of the patient’s medicines list as an opportunity to assess the patient’s compliance with their medication regimen, and identify the need for any further education or support.

Practitioners also need to ask the patient about any medicines that were not prescribed or advised within the practice because of the potential for side effects and drug interactions.

The confirmed list of the patient’s current medication must be included in letters of referral, including those for hospital admissions.

When a practitioner changes a patient’s medication, it is good practice to provide the patient with a new medicines list, particularly when the patient is taking more than one medicine.

Storage of medicines

To ensure patients’ safe use of medicines, vaccines and other healthcare products, store these products appropriately and securely, and do not use or distribute them after their expiry dates. You could appoint a designated person to have primary responsibility for the proper storage and security of medicines, vaccines and other healthcare products.

Requirements relating to the acquisition, use, storage and disposal of Schedule 4 and Schedule 8 medicines are contained in legislation, and practices need to comply with these laws.

Meeting each Indicator

QI2.2 A Our patients are informed of the purpose, importance, benefits, and risks of their medicines and treatments.

You must:

  • keep documentation regarding discussions of medicines and treatments in the patient’s health record.

You could:

  • use videos, brochures or posters to inform patients about medicines.

QI2.2 B Our patients are made aware of their role in their own treatment.

You must:

  • keep records that show that clinical team members have discussed the patient’s roles in their own treatment.

You could:

  • provide patients with consumer medicine information
  • provide patients with a written action plan.

QI2.2 C Our clinical team accesses current information on medicines, and reviews our prescribing patterns, in accordance with best available evidence.

You must:

  • keep documentation relating to medicines reviews in patient health records, including information given to the patient about the purpose, importance, benefits and risks of their medicines.

You could:

  • use a current clinical software program
  • use current best-evidence medicine guidelines
  • develop and implement practice policies or protocols in areas such as antibiotics and drugs of dependence.

QI2.2 D Our clinical team ensures that patients and other health providers to whom we refer receive an accurate and current medicines list.

You must:

  • keep an accurate and current medicines list and referral letters in each patient’s health record.

You could:

  • conduct regular audits of each patient’s health record in order to bring medicines lists up to date and mark acute medications as non-current.

QI2.2 E Our clinical team ensures that medicines, samples, and medical consumables are acquired, stored, administered, supplied, and disposed of in accordance with manufacturers’ directions and relevant laws.

You must:

  • acquire, store, administer, supply and dispose of medicines, samples and medical consumables according to manufacturers’ directions and relevant laws.

You could:

  • maintain a Schedule 8 medicines register.