Medicines Safety Program February 2017

The Medicines Safety Program is designed to improve the access and quality of medicines information through the use of digital health, enabling consumers and healthcare providers to make safe, informed decisions and achieve better health outcomes.

Brisbane 15 February 2017

The 2nd meeting of the Medicines Safety Program Steering Group was held in Brisbane on Wednesday 15 February 2017 with 28 members in attendance.

In addition to a broad discussion on the Agency’s current and proposed Program work plan, the meeting focused on defining what the benefits of this work will be to the healthcare community.

Members worked in groups to identify Program benefits, including how the benefits would be enabled, measured and evaluated, in addition to what data sources would be used to inform them. 

It was proposed that benefits could be classified into three categories:

  • Consumer benefits
    Improved mortality, morbidity, quality of life, reduced cost.
  • Healthcare System benefits
    Improved safety and quality, improved efficiency and productivity (e.g. reduced avoidable hospital admissions), improved access to data and information for system management, policy development and research.
  • Adoption and footprint measures
    Quantity or % of My Health Record uploads of prescribe and dispense records, quantity or % of documents that are interoperable; number of views and downloads of medicines information.

These benefits will be used to evaluate the success of the Program against the objectives agreed in the first Steering Group meeting on 8 December 2016.

An overview of the digital health activities in the primary healthcare sector was presented by members representing NPS MedicineWise, the RACGP and the ACRRM.

Common themes discussed included:

  • The increased appetite for digital health in the sector
  • Support for and leadership around uniform standards and interoperability
  • Commitment to co-design with consumers, providers, government – including jurisdictions and industry
  • The importance of consumer education and engagement and providing tailored easy to access information 
  • Access to a curated Medicines Profiles

The Steering Group team will work with members to further develop the benefits component, and this will be presented back to members at the next meeting.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 24 May 2017.

Steering Group members

  • Australian Commission on Quality and Safety in Health Care 
  • Pharmacy Guild of Australia
  • The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
  • The Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia
  • Australian Private Hospitals Association
  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation 
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Branch (Commonwealth Department of Health)
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration
  • NPS MedicineWise
  • Australian Medical Association
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Medical Software Industry of Australia
  • Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine 
  • Jurisdictional representatives
  • Aged and Community Services Australia 
  • Consumer Health Forum
  • Academic(s)


Media contact:

Alison Sweeney
Senior Communications and Media Officer
02 8298 2669 / 0414 187 350
[email protected]