Electronic medication management

Digital health programs such as electronic medication management (EMM) can improve the safety and quality of health care.

EMM can apply to:

  • Prescribing systems, such as general practitioner desktop systems or hospital clinical information systems that have electronic ordering
  • Decision support systems, such as evidence-based order sets, allergy checking and medicine interactions
  • Dispensing systems, such as pharmacy software and automated dispensing systems
  • Ordering and supply solutions, such as the electronic transfer of prescriptions (ETP) and inventory solutions
  • Electronic medical records in the acute and primary care sectors.

Benefits

By using EMM, healthcare services can reduce the number of preventable adverse medication events, and medication prescribing and dispensing errors. EMM systems can improve the accuracy, visibility and legibility of medical information, so that the communication between professionals and consumers is clearer.

Resources

The Commission has developed a number of resources to support EMM. 

EMM is supported through the consistent and standardised presentation of medicines information and the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) has endorsed the following guidelines for this purpose:

The National Guidelines for On-Screen Display of Medicines Information provide an evidence-based approach to maximise patient safety. 

Business requirements

The Electronic Medication Management Systems Business Requirements (the Requirements) are an annexe to the Electronic Medication Management Systems: A guide to safe implementation (third edition), published by the Commission in 2017.

The Requirements aim to support hospitals and health service organisations to procure and assess EMM systems.

History

The Requirements were brought together from published and unpublished information sources and validated by an expert panel. The Commission has incorporated other EMM business requirements arising from the Australian context, including medication safety priorities, technical standards and national infrastructure initiatives.

The following literature reviews informed the development of the guide and the Requirements: