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The important role of pharmacy in medication safety

16 September 2022

The safety of our patients, clients and caregivers is always our highest priority. World Patient Safety Day is celebrated yearly on 17 September to enhance patient safety and reduce patient harm, through greater engagement in health care safety around the globe.

This World Patient Safety Day, the theme of focus is "Medication Without Harm".  

Medication intervention in patient care is the most common action made in healthcare when treating a condition. This also means that problems with medicine use are also common.

At St John of God Murdoch Hospital, Epic Pharmacy provides the medication supply and governance to all of our patients. They play a large role which is integrated into many areas of the hospital and hold patient safety and care as a sole focus of their service.

They also contribute heavily to the multiple controls and strategies that are in place to maintain and improve medication safety. The pharmacy's service occurs during a patients stay and at the point of discharge. Epic Pharmacy Murdoch supports St John of God Murdoch Hospital and patients by:

  • Providing education to caregivers through presentations and written publications.
  • Completing Best Possible Medication History (BPMH) so that Medical Officers can have a reliable source of information when deciding on a patient’s treatment.
  • Providing comprehensive discharge medication lists for patients who are at risk of a medication misadventure or entering transitional care.
  • Counselling patients on new medications during their stay or at the point of discharge.

Epic Pharmacy maintain a roster of specialised pharmacists who hold portfolios of Medication Safety, Opioid Stewardship and Antimicrobial Stewardship, to ensure best practice of medication safety at all times. 

Epic Pharmacy are also involved with medication safety clinical governance. A pharmacy representative sits on clinical standard committees across the hospital including infection control, antimicrobial stewardship, and medication safety committee.

They help develop and review policies to aid in the management of medication such as the antimicrobial restricted formulary (the traffic light system), high-risk medications (APINCH drugs) and the storage and transport of controlled medications.

Epic Pharmacy also collaborate with the hospital to conduct various audits to ensure polices and procedure are being followed and are having the desired outcome on improving patient safety.

Find out more about World Patient Safety Day here. 

Richard Grainger
Richard Grainger - Director of Pharmacy
Richard heads the pharmacy at St John of God Murdoch Hospital, leading a large team who provide medication and governance to various areas throughout the hospital.