Department of Health

Key messages

The Mental Health Act, 2014 (Vic) states that: "Persons receiving mental health services should be providedservices with the aim of bringing about the best possible therapeutic outcomesand promoting recovery and full participation in community life."

National Standard

The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 4.2.1 requires that hospitals regularly assess their medication management systems.

The National Standards in Mental Health Services require mental health services to minimise the occurrence of adverse medication events within all mental health settings.

The following medication safety systems support best evidence based practice in reducing adverse medicines events:

Standard charts designed using best evidence-based practice, to reduce patient harm at the point of care.

This plan is for multidisciplinary clinicians to reconcile medications during transfer of care between settings, to optimise treatment, care and support

Documenting adverse drug reaction on the standard medication chart can reduce the risk of patients receiving a medicine that they are allergic to.

  • Medication reconciliation

This process produces a complete and accurate medication regimen during transitions of care. Discrepancies are addressed with the prescriber and documented.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care: medication reconciliationExternal Link

Agency for Health Care Research and Quality: Match ToolkitExternal Link

Clinical Excellence Commission: medication reconciliationExternal Link

These are medicines with a narrow safety margin. Antipsychotics are included in high-risk medicines lists in some Australian health services.

This practice reduces the risk of sound-alike, look-alike errors.

This reduces the risk of errors associated with specific terms and abbreviations.

  • Partnering with consumers and carers

Persons receiving mental health and wellbeing services are to be supported to make and be involved in decisions about their treatment:

National QUM indicators for acute mental health care

See the National QUM indicators for acute mental health care (set 7), (NSWTAG)External Link website for the following indicators:

  • 7.1 Percentage of as required (PRN) psychotropic medication orders with documented indication, dose (or dose range), frequency and maximum daily dose specified
  • 7.2 Percentage of patients taking lithium who receive appropriate monitoring during their inpatient episode
  • 7.3 Percentage of patients who receive written and verbal information on regular psychotropic medicines initiated during their admission
  • 7.4 Percentage of patients taking antipsychotic medicines who receive appropriate monitoring for the development of metabolic side effects
  • 7.5 Percentage of patients prescribed two or more regular antipsychotic medicines at hospital discharge

National indicators for Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) in Australian Hospitals

National indicators for Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) in Australian Hospitals (full manual)External Link

Examples of National Quality Use of Medicines Indicators, adapted for Mental Health Services)

  • 3.1 Percentage of patients whose current psychotropic medicines are documented at admission with information in the clinical record regarding the prescription source, prescription duration, effectiveness and adverse effects
  • 3.2 Percentage of patients whose known adverse drug reactions to antipsychotics are documented on the current medication chart
  • 3.5 Percentage of medication orders for depot antipsychotics that are prescribed safely
  • 5.3 Percentage of discharge summaries that document changes to antipsychotic therapy and include explanations for the changes
  • 5.5 Percentage of patients with a new adverse drug reaction (ADR) to antipsychotics that are given written ADR information at discharge AND a copy is communicated to the primary care clinician
  • 5.7 Percentage of patients receiving sedatives (for example, benzodiazepines) at discharge that were not taking them at admission
  • 5.8 Percentage of patients whose discharge summaries contain current accurate and comprehensive list of medicines
  • 5.9 Percentage of patients who receive a current, accurate and comprehensive medication list at the time of hospital discharge

Reviewed 20 March 2023


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