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Medicines - Be Safe, Be Confident Seminar

  • : Brisbane City QLD 4000



Participants will find that at the end of the two-day seminar they will have current information about the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Medication Safety Standards and a better understanding of the practical steps that need to be taken to ensure that their professional competence remains up-to-date. Also, they will have the opportunity to discuss ways in which their patients can be kept safe, and that they are working within appropriate medication safety procedures.

Need for Program

Nurses need access to formal education that explains how to incorporate evidence-based knowledge of medication safety into their everyday practice. To facilitate this link, this seminar provides a secure and interactive environment, in which there will be discussion of the many and varied aspects of medication safety.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this program is to offer an opportunity for all nurses to familiarise themselves with the Standards and current best practice in relation to the safe handling of medicines. They will also be given considerable opportunities to deal with case scenarios highlighting the major ways in which errors can occur, and how best to deal with them.

Your Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the Standards and the reasons for them, as they set the framework for safe medication practice
  • Prepare for future cases in the workplace by discussing the many and varied aspects of medication safety
  • Ensure safety in your professional practice, and ensure patients will be kept free from the consequences of medication errors
  • Describe the practical, everyday application of information provided in this seminar
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    Medicines – Warm Up – Test Your Knowledge

    How up to date are you? Are you practising safe medication administration? This introductory session will give you a chance to reflect on your practices and knowledge to set the scene for the two-day seminar.


    Quality Improvement – Standards for Healthcare

    Over the last decades, healthcare quality and patient safety have been major targets for improvement. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) has identified a range of areas as priorities that have been included in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS Standards). These Standards are compulsory for the majority of public and private healthcare organisations and are used in accreditation. This session will explore the NSQHS Standards and their implications for nurses.


    The Facts about Medication Incidents

    Medication incidents usually occur due to a breakdown in systems. The focus of this session is the NSQHS Standard related to medication safety. This interactive session will provide you with an opportunity to participate in the identification of, as well as experience the many situations that impact on the safety of medication administration. For example:

    • Wrong medication, frequency, route, time, patient, or omissions
    • Poor documentation – allergies, unclear orders
    • Technology and what can go wrong
    • Interruptions, tiredness
    • Lack of education/competence
    • Communication about medicines

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    A Look at Best-Practice Systems for Medication Safety

    Medicine safety starts with mechanisms for safe prescribing, dispensing, supplying, administering, storing, manufacturing, compounding, and monitoring of the effects of medicines. This session will look at:

    • The role of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Advisory Committee on Prescription Medicines
    • A look at processes for a safe system within health systems – technology, labelling, storage
    • Medicines management pathway
    • Managing high-risk medicines e.g. insulin, potassium, chemotherapy, anticoagulants (PINCH)
    • Antibiotic stewardship and the nurse’s role
    • VTE prophylaxis
    • Studies that have been undertaken into medication errors


    Near Miss or Sentinel Event?

    Identifying and reporting critical incidents is essential for safety and quality in healthcare. Quality improvement requires an approach that includes:

    • Understanding critical incidents
    • Reporting incidents
    • Root cause analysis

    This session will examine compliance and discovering what went wrong when an adverse event occurs.

    1:00pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Maintaining Safe Practice – Case Scenarios 1

    Using case scenarios, the current principles and actions to maintain standards and safe practices will be identified. In this topic:

    • Contraindications and drug interactions
    • Right dose, dosage adjustments
    • Accurate calculations
    • Technology safeguards
    • Communication, questioning prescriptions
    • Education

    3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Troubleshooting – Common Overlooked Problems

    This final session of day one will bring to your attention some common, yet overlooked, aspects of medication safety. It includes:

    • Brand and generic name confusion
    • Common problem food and drug combinations
    • Treating adverse effects with more medications
    • Poor consumer health literacy

    4:15pm - Close of Day One of Program

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Patients Most at Risk: Who Are the Most Vulnerable?

    As the Australian population ages and multiple chronic diseases are prevalent, people are more likely to be prescribed complex combinations of medicines. This causes a number of risk factors to emerge. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • The most common adverse drug interactions
    • Ensuring there is a seamless continuum of care between the hospital/residential care facility and discharge back to the community
    • Polypharmacy and the appropriate use of medicines
    • A look at medicine delivery systems – e.g. the best containers used for those with arthritis

    This session will include a series of case scenarios to challenge your skills.

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    The Importance of Auditing

    Audits are necessary for analysing areas of risk. All nurses need to understand the significance of audits, especially as health care is moving increasingly towards data driven practices. In this interesting session, you will find out:

    • How should a medicine audit be performed?
    • Which staff should be involved?
    • How are parameters for the audit set?
    • What documentation is essential?
    • The time an audit can take to perform

    This practical session will include examples of medication risk audits.


    Slip-Sliding Away – Medicines and Falls

    The link is not always made between falls and medications. As there is a known morbidity associated with falls, it is essential that you, as a nurse, are very familiar with this particular area of risk. In this special short session, we will look at the correlation between a person falling to the ground and typical medicines that could be implicated. It includes:

    • A review of the evidence that associates medicines with falls
    • Which drugs are associated with falls
    • What can be done to prevent falls related to medicines
    • Rules for prescribing

    12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Case Scenarios 2 – Prevention

    This interactive session will use several case scenarios to analyse and identify strategies and protocols to prevent a broad range of problematic situations that you may encounter in day-to-day activities. It will draw on the content of the seminar and include examples of:

    • Right route etc.
    • Swallowing difficulties – the medications that can be crushed
    • Pregnancy and breastfeeding – special considerations
    • Older people
    • IV infusions


    Case Scenarios 3 – Action to Take When an Error Occurs

    In this interesting case scenario, you will be taken through two situations where a drug error occurs. You will be shown what action should be taken and when. Speed of detection and immediate action will be highlighted as will the necessary documentation. This session includes:

    • Identifying the error
    • The immediate action to take
    • The patient notification that should occur and when
    • Who else should be notified
    • How you should communicate with the person who administered the medicine
    • Appropriate documentation

    This session will also look at how this relates to the audit which will now need to be performed to prevent a recurrence of the incident.

    3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Credible Resources

    The internet is a hive of all sorts of information about medicines. However, it is important that nurses refer to sites that are absolutely credible. This short session will enable you to:

    • Find the most credible sites quickly
    • Ensure they relate to Australian standards and guidelines


    Wrap Up – So What Have You Learned?

    This session will follow up on the quiz presented at the beginning of day one and lead to a final discussion. It will be an opportunity to test your learning.

    4:15pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Anne Leversha

    Anne Leversha

    Anne Leversha (BPharm, MRuralHlth, FSHP) is a senior lecturer at Monash University in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and director of Medication Education and Management Australia. Anne is a clinical pharmacist and has been a director of a hospital pharmacy. She is a fellow of The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), is an Australian Council on Health Care Standards (ACHS) surveyor and consultant, and is a trained clinical competency assessor for hospital pharmacists. Anne has been a member of the Victorian Medicines Advisory Committee, and was a member of the team that developed a national interdisciplinary clinical educator preparation program. She has presented and conducted seminars and workshops in national and international conferences and forums. Anne has published on topics including improving medication safety with articles on high-risk medicines alerts, drug allergy documentation, clinical pharmacist interventions, and pharmacists’ contribution to medical education.

Medicines - Be Safe, Be Confident Seminar
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Interest Areas / Topics Covered
Provider Type
10 Hours | 30 Mins
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End Date
10 Hours | 30 Mins
Brisbane City QLD 4000
Hotel Ibis Brisbane, 27 - 35 Turbot Street
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