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Ryall: $500k For Taranaki Meds Management System

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tony Ryall
Tony Ryall

Health Minister Tony Ryall has approved more than half a million dollars in extra funding that could reduce adverse medicines events by at least two-thirds.

Mr Ryall says, "Safe medication management is a priority area for improvement and this demonstration in Taranaki DHB is very important."

"Many errors would be avoided by making it clear what medication a patient is on, and then making that information available electronically to all health professionals helping the patient.

"By enforcing a number of formal, standard steps into the medicine management process, there is less chance of a patient being mistakenly given a medicine he or she is allergic to, that will interact with a medicine they are already taking, or that they are already taking," says Mr Ryall.

"This demonstration is a key part of a programme that will result in a standard medications system that can be used throughout the country covering hospitals, general practice, pharmacy, residential aged care facilities and the wider health and disability sector. It builds on other parts of the programme taking place in Counties Manukau, Waitemata and Otago DHBs.

"Similar systems in the US have shown a reduction in adverse drug events of at least 65 per cent. This would translate into more than 8,000 fewer cases of in-hospital adverse drug events in New Zealand each year.

"The Ministry of Health says adverse drug events add an average of 7.5 days to a patient's stay in hospital. At around $1000 a day in hospital, and a conservative 8,000 patients a year, we are looking at estimated savings of more than $60 million a year for District Health Boards.

"This is a significant potential saving for the health service, and will see patients return home sooner, freeing up hospital resources for more patients.

"The Taranaki demonstration is set to finish later this year, before the safe medication management programme is rolled out nationally" Mr Ryall says.

This is a joint initiative between the Health Quality and Safety Commission and the National Health IT Board.

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