Creating efficiencies in medication management


Within days of implementing the streamlined electronic medication management system, the benefits were evident for Group Homes Australia.

There was more efficient communication between families, pharmacists and general practitioners about residents’ medication, and the homemaker team members could access clearer information at a glance.

Group Homes Australia Head of Care and Health Erin Sharp said the Medi-Map platform provided a more efficient way of administering medication.

“There’s a lot of efficiencies in the system,” she said. “When you increase the efficiencies, you decrease the possibility of mistakes.”

Medication management for home care providers, such as Group Homes Australia, is a critical concern.

The proper administration of medication management for all care providers was highlighted in the Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report, which recommended an urgent review of the Aged Care Quality Standards to determine best practice medication management.

This year the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care advised digital health systems, such as electronic medication management, could improve the safety and quality of health care by reducing the number of preventable adverse events and prescribing and dispensing errors.

This is a critical issue for Australia, given estimates from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia that about 250,000 hospital admissions that cost about $1.4 billion were due to medicine-related mistakes.

Ms Sharp said Group Homes Australia implemented the Medi-Map system as a way of improving communication and monitoring of medication management to achieve the safest possible system.

The organisation provides small group homes for people living with dementia around the Sydney metropolitan area. The model comprises traditional homes, set in traditional streets with up to 10 residents per home, supported around the clock with personal and clinical care by a team of homemakers, registered nurses and social workers.

Registered Nurses visit the homes and check medication delivery and administration, but previously there could be a lag in that oversight.

“We had been using a paper-based system,” Ms Sharp said. “If there was an error, there could be a time lag between when the error occurred and when the registered nurse was advised. It wasn’t efficient in terms of timing.”

After searching for a digital solution that could be used in a home-care setting that was cost-effective, Group Homes Australia chose Medi-Map.

Following a training session with the registered nurses and the homemakers, the implementation went smoothly.

“The RNs clearly explained the why,” Ms Sharp said. “Once people understood the why, they embraced it.”

She said the benefits came down to simple impacts and greater clarity over the end-to-end process of medication management.

“It’s easier to read than trying to read someone’s handwritten notes,” she said. “It’s more efficient for the supervisor to go and check if medications have been given. The RNs say it’s more efficient when there is a change of medication, the GP can go in themselves and see the full suite of medications.”

Medi-Map CEO Greg Garratt (pictured) said they took an innovative approach to health care.

He said they wanted to lead the way to demonstrate how technology could be applied to the sector to reduce risk and improve outcomes.

“When designing Medi-Map we thought about the broader application across the healthcare sector, and built the software so it can be utilised anywhere medications are administered or where oversight is needed to improve health outcomes,” he said.

Ms Sharp said the system allowed Group Homes Australia to maintain effective risk mitigation.

“With anything care and health, you have to have exceptional clinical governance,” she said. “What that means is what are you putting in place to make sure the medications are safely administered. This is a really good example of good and best practice clinical governance.”

Sponsored by Medi-Map


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