Private hospitals are required to use the NIMC to verify their services against the National Safety and Quality Health Services Standard. NIMC use has safety benefits for patients and health services because:
Private heath service organisations often face a unique challenge in relation to safe medication charting. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme requires separate, signed prescriptions for each medication order and pharmacy arrangements often require separate paper-based orders for dispensing. Private health service organisation versions of the NIMCs include the standard design and safety features but incorporate tear away sections for pharmacy orders and Medicare Australia claiming purposes.
The Commission hosted a national roundtable of private hospitals using the NIMC on 2 June 2011. Private hospitals presented perspectives and priorities on NIMC use and associated issues. Meeting record (PDF 51kb) and follow up actions are guiding the Commission’s work in this area.
The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing reviewed PBS supply arrangements in private hospitals and residential aged care facilities as agreed by the department with the Pharmacy Guild in the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement. The review is available from the department web site at Department of Health and Ageing Pharmacy Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement Reviews web site.
Finding 1 of the review (at page ix) was that “The option of using the patient’s / resident’s medication chart in a RACF / private hospital as the PBS prescription was overwhelmingly supported by stakeholders.”
The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement provided for introduction of “supply from a medication chart instead of requiring a prescription” in residential aged care facilities.
The Department of Health and Ageing has confirmed that the model for claiming PBS items directly from the National Residential Medication Chart will serve as a precedent that could be extended into private hospitals.