Medication Related Incidents

Medicines are the most common treatment used in health care and contribute to significant improvements in health when used appropriately. However, the use of medicines in complex healthcare environments is prone to errors and adverse events.

A medication incident may indicate a failure in the medication management process that leads to, or has the potential to lead to, harm to the patient.

Medication incidents can occur when:

  • choosing a medicine
  • writing the prescription
  • preparing or manufacturing the medication
  • dispensing the medication
  • administering or taking the medication
  • monitoring post-administration of the medication to the patient

Measuring medication related incidents

Medication related clinical incidents measures the rate per 1,000 occupied bed days for each quarter. “Occupied bed days” means the total time measured in days that hospital beds were occupied by patients whose stay included one or more nights.

How do we measure up

The graph below shows the combined medication related incidents rate for the EMHS hospitals:

  • Armadale Health Service
  • Kalamunda Hospital
  • Bentley Hospital
  • Royal Perth Hospital

Chart: EMHS rate of reported medication incidents, and rate of medication incidents that caused harm per 1,000 occupied bed days.

Graph: Medication incidents and medication incidents resulting in harm

What the figures mean

EMHS fosters a culture that encourages the reporting of clinical incidents to drive quality improvement.

No benchmark has been agreed for this indicator, but a lower rate of medication related incidents is desirable.

The green columns show the rate of reported inpatient medication related incidents per 1,000 occupied bed days across EMHS hospitals over the last four quarters; the smaller tan columns show the rate of medication incidents that resulted in any harm. The difference between them shows that effective surveillance and reporting identifies emerging issues before they result in harm.

EMHS constantly strives to reduce the rate of medication related incidents across all EMHS hospitals.

Last Updated: 28/08/2019