Quality Use of Medicines (QUM)

Quality Use of Medicines (QUM)

Working with healthcare providers to achieve better outcomes from medicines

Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) is one of the four pillars of Australia’s National Medicines Policy which aims for best possible health outcomes from medicines use for consumers. This includes:

  • Selecting management options wisely
  • Choosing suitable medicines if a medicine is considered necessary
  • Using medicines safely and effectively

These QUM principles apply equally to approaches by clinicians and services, decisions about medicine use by individuals and decisions that affect the health of the population.

Medicine is the most frequent intervention used in general practice. More than 200 million prescriptions are dispensed in Australia each year, improving health and wellbeing for a majority. 

However, over 1.5 million people suffer adverse effects from medicines each year, contributing to at least 400,000 GP visits and 250,000 hospital admissions annually in Australia.

The Quality Use of Medicines program will develop strategic alliances with stakeholders to seek and promote innovative strategies to reduce harms and optimise the outcomes from medicines.

TEAMM-Pharmacist (Timely Enhanced Access to Medication Management)

The TEAMM-Pharmacist (Timely Enhanced Access to Medication Management) program aimed to improve quality of care and medication safety for older home nursing clients referred for medication management, by providing timely access to a clinical pharmacist who will visit them in their home.

The program has now concluded and the model assisted clients and nurses by addressing medication issues and obtaining updated accurate medication orders. Key findings include:

  • 234 referrals were made by nurses 
  • 82% of referrals were actioned by the pharmacists
  • The average age of consented participants was 82 years
  • 59% were female
  • Patients used an average of 12 medications
  • Following referral to the project, most participants received one pharmacist home visit