10 Hours | 30 Mins
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Medicines - Be Safe, Be Confident Seminar


Participants will find that at the end of the two day seminar they will have current information about the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Medication Safety Standards, and a better understanding of the practical steps that need to be taken to ensure that their professional competence remains up to date. Also, they will have the opportunity to discuss ways in which their patients can be kept safe, and that they are working with appropriate medication safety procedures.

Need for Program

Nurses need access to formal education that explains how to incorporate evidence-based knowledge of medication safety into their everyday practice. To facilitate this link, this seminar provides a secure and interactive environment in which there will be discussion of the many and varied aspects of medication safety.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this program is to offer an opportunity for all nurses to familiarise themselves with the Standards and current best practice in relation to the safe handling of medicines. They will also be given considerable opportunities to deal with case scenarios highlighting the major ways in which errors can occur, and how best to deal with them.

Your Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the Standards and the reasons for them because they set the framework for safe medication practice
  2. Prepare for future cases in the workplace by discussing the many and varied aspects of medication safety
  3. Ensure safety in your professional practice, and ensure patients will be kept free from the consequences of medication errors
  4. Describe the practical, everyday application of information provided in this seminar
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Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Medicines - Warm Up - Test Your Knowledge

How up to date are you? Are you practicing safe medication administration? This introductory session will give you a chance to reflect on your practices and knowledge to set the scene for the two day seminar.


Quality Improvement - Standards for Healthcare

Over the last decades, healthcare quality and patient safety have been major targets for improvement. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) has identified a range of areas as priorities and which have been included in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS Standards). These Standards are compulsory for the majority of public and private healthcare organisations and are used in accreditation. This session will explore the NSQHS Standards and their implications for nurses.


The Facts about Medication Incidents

Medication incidents usually occur due to a breakdown in systems. The focus of this session is the NSQHS Standard related to medication safety. This interactive session will provide you with an opportunity to participate in identification of, and experiences with the many situations which impact on the safety of medication administration. For example:

  • Wrong medication, frequency, route, time, patient; omissions
  • Poor documentation - allergies, unclear orders
  • Technology and what can go wrong
  • Interruptions, tiredness
  • Lack of education/competence
  • Communication about medicines

10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


A Look at Best Practice Systems for Medication Safety

Medicine safety starts with mechanisms for safe prescribing, dispensing, supplying, administering, storing, manufacturing, compounding and monitoring of the effects of medicines. This session will look at:

  • The role of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Advisory Committee on Prescription Medicines
  • A look at processes for a safe system within health systems – technology, labelling, storage
  • Medicines Management pathway
  • Managing high risk medicines e.g. insulin, potassium, chemotherapy, anticoagulants (PINCH)
  • Antibiotic stewardship and the nurses’ role
  • VTE prophylaxis
  • Studies that have been undertaken into medication errors


Near Miss or Sentinel Event?

Identifying and reporting critical incidents is essential for safety and quality in healthcare. Quality improvement requires an approach that includes:

  • Understanding critical incidents
  • Reporting incidents
  • Root cause analysis

This session will examine compliance, and discovering what went wrong when an adverse event has occurred.

1:00pm - Lunch Break and Networking


Maintaining Safe Practice – Case Scenarios 1

Using case scenarios, current principles and actions to maintain standards and safe practices will be identified in this topic:

  • Contraindications and drug interactions
  • Right dose, dosage adjustments
  • Accurate calculations
  • Technology safeguards
  • Communication, questioning prescriptions
  • Education

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Troubleshooting – Common Overlooked Problems

This final session of day one will bring to your attention some common, yet overlooked aspects of medication safety. Includes:

  • Brand and generic name confusion
  • Common problem food and drug combinations
  • Treating adverse effects with more medications
  • Poor consumer health literacy

4:15pm - Close of Day One of Program

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Patients Most at Risk: Who are the Most Vulnerable?

As the Australian population ages and multiple chronic diseases are prevalent, people are more likely to be prescribed complex combinations of medicines. This causes a number of risk factors to emerge, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Adverse drug interactions – what are the most common?
  • Ensuring there is a seamless continuum of care between hospital-residential care facility and discharge back to the community
  • Poly-pharmacy and the appropriate use of medicines
  • A look at medicine delivery systems – e.g. which containers are best used for those with arthritis?

This session will include a series of case scenarios to challenge your skills.

10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


The Importance of Auditing

Audits are necessary for analysing areas of risk. All nurses need to understand the significance of audits especially as healthcare is moving increasingly towards data driven practices. In this interesting session you will find out:

  • How should a medicine audit be performed?
  • Which staff should be involved?
  • How are parameters for the audit set?
  • What documentation is essential?
  • The time an audit can take to perform

This practical session will include examples of medication risk audits.


Slip-Sliding Away - Medicines and Falls

The link is not always made between falls and medications. As there is a known morbidity associated with falls it is essential that you as a nurse, are very familiar with this particular area of risk. In this special short session we will look at the correlation between a person falling to the ground and typical medicines that could be implicated.

  • A review of the evidence that associates medicines with falls
  • What drugs are associated with falls
  • What can be done to prevent this?
  • Rules for prescribing

12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking


Case Scenarios 2 – Prevention

This interactive session will use several case scenarios to analyse and identify strategies and protocols to prevent a broad range of problematic situations that you may encounter in day-to-day activities. It will draw on the content of the seminar and include examples of:

  • Right route etc.
  • Swallowing difficulties - which medications can be crushed?
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding – special considerations
  • Older people
  • IV infusions


Case Scenarios 3 – Action to Take When an Error Occurs

In this interesting case scenario you will be taken through two situations where a drug error occurs. You will be shown what action should be taken and when. Speed of detection and immediate action will be highlighted as will the necessary documentation. Session includes:

  • Identifying the error
  • What is the immediate action to take?
  • What patient notification should occur and when?
  • Who else should be notified
  • How should you communicate with the person who administered the medicine?
  • What documentation should be made?

This session will also look at how this relates to the audit which will now need to be performed to prevent a recurrence of the incident.

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Credible Resources

The internet is a hive of all sorts of information about medicines. However, it is important that nurses refer to sites that are absolutely credible. This short session will enable you to:

  • Find the most credible sites quickly
  • Ensure they relate to Australian standards and guidelines


Wrap Up – So What Have You Learned?

This session will follow up on the quiz presented at the beginning of day one and will include a final discussion as an opportunity to test your learning.

4:15pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations



Medicines - Be Safe, Be Confident 2018

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