PBS hospital medication chart development and background

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme hospital medication chart (PBS HMC) is an evidence-based chart that builds on the national inpatient medication chart (NIMC). It has been trialled in public and private hospitals across Australia.

Healthcare services are expected to demonstrate the use of a compliant standardised chart for accreditation against the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards (second edition) Medication Safety Standard. The PBS HMC is a compliant standardised chart.

Only the PBS HMC can be used for PBS claiming.

Non-compliant charts:

  • Are not reflected in any nationally maintained support materials, including education resources
  • May create medico-legal risks for health service organisations in the event of patient harm related to medication misadventure.

Benefits of the PBS HMC

  • Reduces the regulatory and administrative burden for health professionals
  • Improves efficiency and streamline processes for PBS prescribing, dispensing and claiming
  • Improves medication safety by reducing medicine transcription errors
  • Improves the quality use of medicines, including PBS medicines prescribed, dispensed and administered to patients in acute care settings
  • Improves workflow for healthcare providers.

PBS HMC history

The Australian Government Department of Health appointed the Commission to develop the PBS HMC for use in public and private hospitals, and to test its safety and effectiveness. The aim was to reduce the administrative prescribing, dispensing and claiming for PBS medicines in hospitals.

A hospital trial assessed:

  • Safety and quality of the PBS HMC compared with the NIMC
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements for PBS data fields
  • Financial advantages to the hospital
  • Workflow utility and efficiencies for hospitals, clinicians and pharmacies.

The hospital trial found the safety performance of the PBS HMC compared favourably with the existing medication charts used at the trial sites. This finding was supported by chart audits and site reports. There were no medication incidents associated with the PBS HMC, and using the chart reduced medication transcription errors.

Additional details of the trial can be found in PBS Hospital Medication Chart (PBS HMC) project. Development, trial and evaluation of the PBS HMC in public and private hospitals: phase 1 summary evaluation report