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Home News Latest News Making medicines management safe

Making medicines management safe

Home News Latest News Making medicines management safe
July 26, 2016

Medicines management can be defined as: “The safe clinically effective and economic use of medicines to ensure that people using health and social services get the maximum benefit from the medicines they need, while at the same time minimising potential harm.”  Medicines make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of people and nurses and midwives are uniquely positioned to support the safe and effective use of medicines. The use of medicines in Ireland has increased and poly pharmacy is now normal clinical practice. This increase in the use of medicines brings with it an increasing challenge for nurses and midwives to maintain safety.

Medicines management can be defined as: “The safe clinically effective and economic use of medicines to ensure that people using health and social services get the maximum benefit from the medicines they need, while at the same time minimising potential harm.”  Medicines make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of people and nurses and midwives are uniquely positioned to support the safe and effective use of medicines. The use of medicines in Ireland has increased and poly pharmacy is now normal clinical practice. This increase in the use of medicines brings with it an increasing challenge for nurses and midwives to maintain safety.

Medicines management covers a number of tasks including assessing, supplying, prescribing, dispensing, administrating, reviewing and assisting patients/service users with their medicines. In Ireland the management of medicines is governed by legislation, regulation and professional standards which are monitored and enforced by different regulatory organisations. Nurses and midwives must be aware of their legal and professional responsibility and accountability with regard to medicines management to ensure that patients/service-users receive the maximum benefit from their medicines. It is noted in the literature that medicines are the most common form of preventable patient injury and therefore safety is of paramount importance.

Safe medicines management is about collaboration. It is recognised that safe quality medicines management practices are shared between nurses, midwives, medical practitioners, pharmacists and others to ensure that the patient/service-user achieves the maximum benefit from their medications. It is best practice that policies, procedures protocols and guidelines are devised collaboratively by nursing, midwifery, medical, pharmacy and management staff where health care is provided. Medication management practices should be audited on a regular basis to ensure effective and safe patient/service-user care.

The Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives and the updated Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice Framework provide enabling frameworks for clinical staff and managers to support their individual and collective professional roles for safe medicines management. The professions responsibilities, activities and accountability involving medications are intrinsically linked to the individual’s scope of practice.Each nurse/midwife has a responsibility to ensure his/her continued professional development which is necessary for the maintenance of competence, particularly with regard to medicines management.

A new medicines management e-learning programme was launched in June 2016. This programme replaces the previously released medications management programme. The programme has been designed to support nurses and midwives in the facilitation of safe and effective use of medicines in their day to day practice. Nurses and midwives have easy and instant access to the e-learning programme via the Health Services Executive (HSE) portal www.hseland.ie

NMBI in partnership with the Office of Nursing and Midwifery Services Director (ONMSD) of the HSE is currently updating the Guidance to Nurses and Midwives on Medication Management published in 2007. The new guidance document will support nurses and midwives in the delivery of safe, effective quality care for patients/service-users, and protect the integrity of nursing and midwifery practice. It is envisaged that the new Medicines Management Standards for Nurses and Midwives will be published in Autumn 2016.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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