The RxMedChart system has the potential to revolutionise the way medications are prescribed, dispensed and managed in residential aged care facilities. It has been designed to improve medication safety and reduce the administrative burden associated with managing medication charts and prescriptions, allowing more time to focus on resident care.
RxMedChart documentation provides a complete medication chart system which records all necessary information as a valid PBS prescription. The pharmacist supplies and claims S4 medicines, as pharmaceutical benefit items, from a signed copy of the RxMedChart documentation that is kept at the residential aged care facility (RACF). The medicine can be continually supplied for up to four months.
Before the introduction of the RxMedChart system, typically a pharmacist might spend 30-40% of their time managing and chasing owing prescriptions. It is estimated that the cost of not having a prescription available at the time of dispensing is $21M over 1 year, based on 231 500 nursing home residents.
The RxMedChart system offers a complete and holistic approach to managing resident medication and has been designed to reduce risk and improve efficiencies for the RACF, pharmacy and prescriber. Medical information is printed and then reviewed and verified by the prescriber, minimising the risk of error due to illegible handwriting.
Importantly, it improves the quality of information available to all members of the health care team and its introduction is supported by a change management implementation process and training program.
The RxMedChart system improves the quality of information available to all members of the health care team by providing a central medication chart. The medication chart is valid for continuous supply in minimum PBS quantities for up to four months, eliminating the administrative burden of writing separate prescriptions for each medication.
Before the introduction of the RxMedChart system, a typical resident on 10 medications would require four GP visits per month in order to manage prescriptions. In the RxMedChart system this drops to one visit per month, saving the Medicare system an estimated $530M and allowing the prescriber more time to focus on the resident and their health care needs.
The RxMedChart system has been designed to improve medication safety for residents in aged care facilities.
The computerised chart reduces the risk of medication misadventure, caused by poor or illegible handwriting or the interrupted supply of medication due to owing prescriptions.
RxMedChart provides an accurate source for the resident’s medication profile, administration records and pathology results. The elimination of duplicated documents results in fewer adverse incidents and medication misadventure.
By minimising the administrative burden for prescribers, aged care staff and pharmacists, all members of the health care team can work together efficiently and effectively to enhance health care outcomes.
Gerard Stevens, Managing Director of Webstercare, first proposed the concept of a “medication chart as prescription” to the local Health Insurance Committee in 2004.
In 2006 he presented the idea to federal ministers, including Malcom Turnbull, and explained the burdens associated with the current process and the impact upon prescribers, pharmacists and aged care staff’s ability to provide a continuous, risk free supply of medicines.
By 2010 the initiative had received funding by the Australian Government under the 5CPA. During 2013-14 the national residential medication chart (NRMC) was tested and evaluated. In 2014 legislation was passed, paving the way for the development of the RxMedChart system.
The computerised medication chart provides a single source of information for a resident medication profile. Information integrates across all software applications used to manage prescribing, dispensing and administering medications, creating a consistent and intuitive workflow. The medication profile, pathology results and administration records, are stored in a resident folder for easy access and cross-referencing of information.
Safety features guide the user through the medication round. These include: alert for medication that should not be crushed, pill images, colour coded medication categories and important information for identifying residents such as a similar name alert and large resident images.
The RxMedChart system is the first computer generated version of the national residential medication chart (NRMC), a federal government-approved medication chart. A key consideration in developing the RxMedChart system was reducing and removing the duplication of documents, by moving away from a paper based system to a primarily digital form.