Medication Safety at the WCH
The Women's and Children's Health Network commits to ensuring that medicines are safely prescribed and used, and that consumers and carers are informed about medicines and their risks.
Medication safety is one of the 8 National Safety and Quality Standards for hospitals. It was named as Australia’s 10th National Health Priority by the Australian Health Minister, Dr Greg Hunt, in November 2019.
The Women's and Children's Health Network (WCHN) Medication Safety Committee, together with the divisions of the WCHN, work to ensure that clinicians safely prescribe, dispense and administer appropriate medicines, and monitor medicine use.
WCHN also aims to ensure that consumers and carers are informed about medicines, and understand their own medicine needs and risks.
Understanding your and your child’s medicines will help you make better decisions, and ensure that you and your child get the most benefit from prescribed medicines, safely.
Do you know...
- what medicines you or your child are taking?
- why you or your child are taking them?
- how you or your child can take your medicines safely?
- Track your and/or your child's medicines by keeping an up-to-date list of everything you or your child is taking in a notebook, in the notes on your mobile phone, or using an app like the NPS MedicineWise App.
- When you come to hospital, always bring your or your child’s medicines with you, along with a list of all the medicines being taken.
- Remember to speak up and ask questions if you are unsure about any of the medicines you or your child is taking.
For more information about managing your medicines or medication safety:
- contact the SA Pharmacy Medicines Information Service on (08) 8161 7555 (9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday)
- speak to your doctor, nurse/midwife or pharmacist – we are here to help you!
- NPS MedicineWise has a wide range of resources to help individuals, community groups and health services to promote being 'medicinewise'. For more information, go to: NPS MedicineWise – Being MedicineWise
- Use the Choosing Wisely initiative to support your conversations about your medicines.
Antibiotics are a type of medicine used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Most colds and flus are caused by viruses. Antibiotics will not help fight a virus.
If antibiotics are used when they are not needed or for longer than needed, the antibiotic may stop working – this is called antibiotic resistance.
It is important that everyone helps fight against antimicrobial resistance.
What you can do to help?
- Always take your antibiotics at the right time and for as long as your doctor has instructed.
- Don't keep any unused antibiotics for another time – return leftover medicines to your pharmacy for disposal
- Don't share antibiotics with other people – they may have a different infection.
- If you have a common cold or flu don't ask your doctor for antibiotics.
- Always discuss with your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you have any questions about your antibiotic.
Along with your family and friends, take a pledge to fight antimicrobial resistance
- Talk to your doctor, nurse / midwife or pharmacist for advice about the medicines you or your child are taking.
Resources for antimicrobial awareness
- NPS MedicineWise – World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020
- A short video on the causes and concerns of antimicrobial resistance
– Professor John Turnidge, Senior Medical Adviser at the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
- SA Health – Antimicrobial Awareness Week
- SA Health – video with one of our pharmacists about Antimicrobial Awareness Week