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Aust Health Rev. 2011 Nov;35(4):395-8. doi: 10.1071/AH09863.

The nuts and bolts of pills and portions: the functions of a drug safety working group.

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Redcliffe Hospital, Redcliffe, QLD 4020, Australia.


Hospitalised patients commonly experience adverse drug events (ADEs) and medication errors. Runciman reported that ADEs in hospitals account for 20% of reported adverse events and contribute to 27% of deaths where death followed an adverse event. Hughes recommends multidisciplinary hospital drug committees to assess performance and raise standards. The new Code of Conduct of the Medical Board of Australia recommends participation in systems for surveillance and monitoring of adverse events, and to improve patient safety. We describe the functions and role of a Drug Safety Working Group (DSWG) in a suburban hospital, which aims to audit and promote a culture of prescribing and medication administration that is prudent and cautious to minimise the risk of harm to patients. We believe that regular prescription monitoring and feedback to Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) improves medication management in our hospital.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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