Key messages

  • The National Inpatient Medication Chart (NIMC) reduces errors in the prescription and administration of medicines.
  • National indicators of quality of use of medicines (QUM) measure the effectiveness of QUM programs in Australian hospitals.
  • National recommendations for user-applied labelling increase the safe administration of injectable medicines.

The National Inpatient Medication Chart (NIMC) is a suite of standardised medication charts that provides consistent information to health professionals on prescribing medicines. It reduces the risk of errors in prescription, dispensation and administration of medicines.

Mandatory use of the National Inpatient Medication Chart

The use of the NIMC in hospitals is mandatory.

Copies of the NIMC and related charts and resources, including acute care, private hospitals, and day and residential aged care medication charts, are available for download from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC). The ACSQHC coordinates audits of NIMC use every two years to assist hospitals to evaluate their use of the NIMC.

Regular auditing of the NIMC enables hospitals to:

  • identify areas of good medication management practice
  • focus on areas of practice requiring improvement
  • benchmark their NIMC use compared with peer and all other hospitals.

Victorian hospitals are invited to participate and are required to register and login to access the NIMC audit system.

Information on the outcomes of the NIMC 2014 national audit is available for download by Victorian public hospitals.

For the first login to the national NIMC audit database, a password is required. Contact ACSQHC.

National indicators for quality use of medicines

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) has published the National indicators for quality use of medicines in Australian hospitals 2014 to support hospitals to monitor their compliance with processes of medication management that have shown to improve health outcomes.

The indicators are designed for local use. They support measurement of safety and quality of medicine use for improvement purposes, and help health services to drive changes in healthcare practice.

National indicators for quality use of medicines (QUM) in Australian hospitals, including the associated tools and user guide, are available for download by Victorian public hospitals.

National labelling recommendations

Labelling is recognised as an important feature for the safe administration of injectable medicines and fluids.

National recommendations for user-applied labelling of injectable medicines, fluids and lines is published by the ACSQHC to provide guidance on label design and processes.

These recommendations apply to all clinical areas in Australian hospitals and health services where injectable medicines and fluids are administered. Implementation of the labelling recommendations is a requirement of National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards Standard 4 - Medication Safety.

The national labelling recommendations, along with accompanying educational resources including posters, a PowerPoint presentation, audit and gap analysis, and frequently asked questions (FAQs), are available for download by Victorian public hospitals.