Department of Health

Reducing adverse medication events in mental health services

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:

 

National QUM indicators for acute mental health care (set 7), (NSWTAG)

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 (full manual)
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 09 December 2021

Health.vic

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