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Do high-risk medicines alerts influence practice?

Dunning, Trisha L., Leach, Helen, Van De Vreede, Melita, Williams, Allison F., Buckley, John, Jackson, John, Leversha, Anne, Nation, Roger L., Rokahr, Catherine, O'Reilly, Mary and Kirsa, Suzanne W. 2010, Do high-risk medicines alerts influence practice?, Journal of pharmacy practice and research, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 203-206.

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Title Do high-risk medicines alerts influence practice?
Author(s) Dunning, Trisha L.ORCID iD for Dunning, Trisha L. orcid.org/0000-0002-0284-1706
Leach, Helen
Van De Vreede, Melita
Williams, Allison F.
Buckley, John
Jackson, John
Leversha, Anne
Nation, Roger L.
Rokahr, Catherine
O'Reilly, Mary
Kirsa, Suzanne W.
Journal name Journal of pharmacy practice and research
Volume number 40
Issue number 3
Start page 203
End page 206
Total pages 4
Publisher Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2010-09
ISSN 1445-937X
Summary Background: Medicine-related adverse events are prevalent, costly and mostly preventable. The High Risk Medicines Working Party (Victoria) developed and distributed three highrisk medicines alerts – wrong route of administration of oral medicines, subcutaneous insulin and unfractionated heparin – and accompanying audit tools in 2008 and 2009.
Aims: To determine the impact of the three high-risk medicines alerts on Victorian health services; to assess the clinical relevance and utility of the audit tools; to identify barriers to implementing recommendations; and to obtain feedback and suggestions for future alert topics.
Method: A cross-sectional survey was undertaken from 6 to 31 July 2009 using an online questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed to 90 metropolitan, regional and rural public health services in Victoria and approximately 200 members of the Quality Use of Medicines Network (Victoria).
Results: Most of the 90 respondents were pharmacists (53%) and nurses (31%). 53 (59%) respondents reported making changes as a result of receiving the high-risk medicines alerts – 21 (40%) concerned the wrong route of administration, 12 (23%) subcutaneous insulin and 7 (13%) unfractionated heparin. Barriers to implementation included time constraints, inadequate staff and resources, excessive paperwork and competing priorities. A minority of respondents indicated some alerts were not relevant to small rural services. Suggestions for
improving the audit tools included making them less labour intensive, enabling electronic responses and ensuring their distribution is coordinated with other medicine-related tools.
Conclusion: High-risk medicines alerts and the accompanying audit tools facilitated change but there were some barriers to their implementation, such as time and resource constraints. Not all alerts and audit tools were relevant to all health services.
Language eng
Field of Research 111002 Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative)
Socio Economic Objective 920211 Palliative Care
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30031027

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.