20 - 21 May 2021

Medicines: Be Safe, Be Confident Seminar 2021

10h 30m
QRC: 4085
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Why Attend

Medicine administration is an area of high risk. Find out the steps you can take to ensure your professional practice in relation to medicines is safe. This seminar includes:

  • Abbreviations used in medicine – what’s acceptable
  • What happens when you crush a medicine
  • How medicines are stored
  • How to monitor the effects of medicines
  • Combining medicines
  • Deprescribing imperatives
  • Adverse reactions versus side effects
  • The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Medication Safety Standards
This seminar is for you if you have not had a medicine update in the past 12 months.


8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Medicines – Warm Up – Test Your Knowledge

How up to date are you? Are you practising 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 that 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 the identification of, as well as experience the many situations that impact on the safety of medication administration. For example:

  • Wrong medication, frequency, route, time, patient, or 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 nurse’s 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 occurs.

1:00pm - Lunch Break and Networking


Maintaining Safe Practice – Case Scenarios 1

Using case scenarios, the 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. It 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

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. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • The most common adverse drug interactions
  • Ensuring there is a seamless continuum of care between the hospital/residential care facility and discharge back to the community
  • Polypharmacy and the appropriate use of medicines
  • A look at medicine delivery systems – e.g. the best containers 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 health care 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. It includes:

  • A review of the evidence that associates medicines with falls
  • Which drugs are associated with falls
  • What can be done to prevent falls related to medicines
  • 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 – the medications that 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. This session includes:

  • Identifying the error
  • The immediate action to take
  • The patient notification that should occur and when
  • Who else should be notified
  • How you should communicate with the person who administered the medicine
  • Appropriate documentation

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 lead to a final discussion. It will be an opportunity to test your learning.

4:15pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


educator avatar

Anne Leversha

Anne Leversha is a Senior Lecturer at Monash University in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and is Director of Medication Education and Management Australia. Anne is a clinical pharmacist, has been a Director of a hospital pharmacy and was a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University. She is a Fellow of The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), is an Australian Council on Health Care Standards (ACHS) assessor and consultant and is a trained clinical competency assessor for hospital pharmacists. Anne has been a member of the Victorian Medicines Advisory Committee and was a member of the team that developed a national interdisciplinary clinical educator preparation program. She has presented and conducted seminars and workshops in national and international conferences and forums. Anne has published on topics, including improving medication safety with articles on high-risk medicines alerts, drug allergy documentation, clinical pharmacist interventions, and pharmacists’ contribution to medical education.

Need for Program

Despite the fact that there is much known about the causes of medication errors they still remain a major cause of iatrogenic conditions. Combined with this is the tendency to prescribe multiple medicines more frequently – particularly with the increase in chronic diseases within the community. When medicines are prescribed and administered, the safety of the community is a major nursing consideration. Nurses must be constantly vigilant for any changes that occur in medication practices to prevent untoward events that lead to patient harm.

Purpose of Program

This program is designed to update your knowledge and practice in relation to the correct handling and administration of medicines using the framework of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Medication Safety Standards.

Your learning outcomes

  • Understand the Standards and the reasons for them as they set the framework for safe medication practice
  • Identify potential areas of risk in your workplace in relation to the NSQHS Medication Safety Standards and proactively effect change
  • Develop a plan for involving patients in understanding their medicines and reasons they are prescribed, how they should be safely consumed, and the expected duration of the treatment
  • Describe the practical actions you will take if a medication error occurs
20 - 21 May 2021

Medicines: Be Safe, Be Confident Seminar 2021

10h 30m
QRC: 4085
Mercure Hotel Brisbane
Brisbane, QLD, 4000
Price: $559.00