Quality use of medicines

Our Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) program ensures that the right patient gets the right choice of medicine, at the right time.

Through QUM, we help to prevent adverse drug events and reduce medicine-related preventable hospitalisations in our region by supporting GPs, nurses, pharmacists and consumers.

Activities include:

  • real-time prescription monitoring – SafeScript, education and training
  • activities related to the MyHealth Record expansion project
  • promotion of Home Medicines Reviews (also known as Domiciliary Medication Management Reviews)
  • providing QUM resources for consumers
  • providing QUM resources and tools for GPs, nurses and pharmacists
  • integrating non-dispensing pharmacists into general practice.

Why QUM is needed

Medicines are the most commonly used medical intervention. In Australian general practice, prescribing occurs at a rate of 85.5 prescriptions per 100 patient encounters.

Medicines maintain health, prevent illness, manage chronic conditions and cure disease. However, medicine-related problems, including medication errors, adverse drug reactions, allergic reactions and overdoses do occur.

Medicine-related problems can lead to patient harm, unnecessary general practice visits and potential hospitalisation. More than 1.5 million Australians suffer from an adverse event from medicines each year. This results in 400,000 general practice visits and 190,000 hospital admissions annually. Two to four per cent of all hospital admissions in Australia are medicine-related.

Real-time prescription monitoring – SafeScript

SafeScript is now available statewide. It gives health professionals prescription information to help them safely supply high-risk medicines.

Domiciliary Medication Management Review

A Domiciliary Medication Management Review (DMMR), also known as a Home Medicines Review (HMR), is a collaborative medication review. A DMMR is intended to maximise an individual patient’s benefit from their medication regimen, and prevent medication-related problems through a team approach. This involves the patient, their GP and their preferred community pharmacy or accredited pharmacist.

Fact sheets about high-risk medicines

These fact sheets are designed to help GPs and pharmacists chat to patients about some of the risks associated with certain prescription medicines, including benzodiazepines, codeine containing analgesics, opioid medicines, quetiapine and the ‘Z drugs’.

More information

For more information, please phone our Quality Use of Medicines team on (03) 9347 1188.