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

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; in fact, more than 1.5 million Australians experience 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.

NWMPHN’s QUM work

Our Quality Use of Medicines program aims to prevent adverse drug events and reduce medicine-related preventable hospitalisations within our region. We do this by supporting GPs, nurses, pharmacists and consumers, in the following activities:

  • Integration of non-dispensing pharmacists into general practice
  • Real Time Prescription Monitoring – Safescript, education and training
  • MyHealth Record Expansion project
  • Home Medicines Reviews (Domiciliary Medication Management Reviews [DMMRs]) promotion
  • Consumer QUM resource provision
  • QUM resources and tools for GPs, nurses and pharmacists