Macquarie University and BESTMED partner in new research project

Professor Johanna Westbrook, Director of the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation.

With medication safety, an ongoing concern for the aged care sector, a new project led by Macquarie University will demonstrate how sophisticated and user-friendly IT systems can improve the management of medication and support for staff and residents.

The two-year project has received a $992,386 grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council Medical Research Future Fund and was awarded to the lead investigator, Professor Johanna Westbrook (pictured), Director of the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation.

The project aims to demonstrate how IT systems with sophisticated data processing can improve medication management by:

  • supporting the monitoring of medication and guiding decision-making,
  • reducing the workload of aged care staff, and
  • providing real-time information to residents and their families.

Despite the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety identifying widespread issues associated with medication management, it remains an area of concern. The latest Sector Performance Report for April – June 2022 shows medication management as the top-listed complaint issue for the period.

The project will work in partnership with technology provider BESTMED’s medication management system used across Australia in more than 500 residential aged care facilities and by pharmacists and general practitioners caring for over 58,000 patients. BESTMED is one of the providers listed on the Government’s Transitional Electronic National Residential Medication Chart (eNRMC) Conformance Register. Grant funding is currently available to help aged care providers transition to eNRMC.

“We are pleased to be partnering with BESTMED as crucially, this project recognises the need to reduce the workload burden on the aged care workforce through solutions that are practical and scalable and will work in the real world,” Professor Westbrook said.

The BESTMED team led by Nass Hijazi, CEO will work with the investigator team to benchmark and develop functionality across several areas that include generating standardised quality indicator data for care monitoring, benchmarking and real-time local improvement activities.

“It’s opportunities like this that give us additional insights into how technology can be further used to enhance medication management and assist care providers, consumers and their families,” Mr Hijazi said.

“With increasing requirements in the sector and staffing pressure, BESTMED is committed to using the right technology to bridge the gap and provide scalable, real-world solutions to improve safety and reduce staff workload,” added Mr Hijazi.


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