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New course charted in embolism treatment

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Practitioners will be prompted to assess the blood clot risk of patients in an update to standardised inpatient medication charts.

As part of efforts to reduce the incidence of hospital-associated venous thrombo-embolism (VTE), the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has decided to incorporate a form on the condition in the National Inpatient Medication Chart (NIMC), following a two-year pilot study.

The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, Professor Debora Picone, said the pilot study had found a significant improvement in documenting the risk of VTE and appropriate prescribing when a chart on the condition was included in the NIMC.

The chart is designed to prompt and document VTE risk assessment and contraindications, as well as record any drugs or mechanical aids ordered or administered.

Its incorporation in the NIMC is seen as an important step in improving the identification of VTE risk and its treatment.

The NIMC is a standardised set of medication charts that ensure a consistent format for patient information shared between health workers practitioners.

It was introduced in 2006 as part of a national strategy to cut down on medicine errors in acute care, and its use in mandatory in hospitals accredited under National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.

Under the change, all short-stay NIMCs for adult inpatients, (including a version designed to be incorporated in GP electronic prescribing software for inpatients prescribed medicines by a GP), will include the VTE chart.

A modified version of the prophylaxis section of the chart, which only includes space for documenting the assessment of VTE risk and contraindications, will also be included in the outpatient version of the NIMC.

Professor Picone said the VTE chart would not be included in the long-stay NIMC for stable, acute adult inpatients, nor in the long and short-stay version of the NIMC for paediatric patients.

Copies of the new NIMC can be downloaded from:

www.safetyandquality.gov.au/our-work/medicatioon-safety/medication-chart/

An online training guide for use of the NIMC is at:

www.nps.org.au/health-professional/professional-development/online-learning

Adrian Rollins

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