New National Residential Medication Chart released

28 Nov 2014

A new National Residential Medication Chart (NRMC) that can be used to prescribe and supply PBS medicines is now available free from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Doctors and pharmacists in all States and Territories except NSW and the Northern Territory (where legislation is yet to be passed) can now prescribe and supply most PBS medicines to residents of aged care facilities using this chart without needing to also write prescriptions. 

The NRMC has also been designed to provide a central point for information. ‘Prescriptions’ and the record of medicine administration are co-located, with the resident’s details including their photograph and known adverse drug reactions visible from each page. Relevant pathology, doctors’ instructions and special considerations are also included.

During its development and testing in 2013-14, the Commission found that the NRMC improved medication safety for residents and considerably minimised the administrative burden. AMA Council of General Practice Chair, Dr Brian Morton and fellow Councillor, Dr Richard Kidd, participated in the expert reference group that provided advice.

While NRMC test sites provided very positive feedback and have chosen to continue using it, experiences indicated that everyone involved initially needs training and support to move successfully to an NRMC model. The next step is for commercial companies to develop electronic versions of the NRMC to streamline processes even further.

Use of the NRMC is a decision of the residential aged care facilities and is purely voluntary but AMA members may wish to encourage the facilities they work in to investigate its adoption.