Nursing home dispensing changes to aid safety

Pharmacists have been reminded of changes when dispensing for nursing home residents

The Australian Department of Health has announced that beginning this month, pharmacists should include the RACFId (residential aged care facility identification number) for the nursing home each time a PBS/RPBS item is dispensed for all of the pharmacy’s nursing home patients.

The changes will make dispensing easier for pharmacists, the Department says, as the RACFId will be used for PBS/RPBS supplies to all nursing homes. 

Prior to the change, the RACFId was only required for most supplies to nursing homes that have started using the National Residential Medication Chart (NRMC), or a commercial equivalent charting product that complies with PBS legislation.

“Changes to pharmacy dispensing systems will make it easier for pharmacists to make this change,” says the Department.

“Pharmacists can obtain the correct RACFId numbers from each of the nursing homes they supply medicines.

“These changes will apply to all PBS/RPBS items, whether they are part of a pharmacy’s PBS claim, or being supplied as under co-payment items. 

“The changes are being made to help improve medication safety in the aged care sector, through data-driven quality use of medicines measures.”

The Department says pharmacies’ software vendor will publish details on the process which should be followed to ensure that the RACFId is entered against all patients who reside in nursing homes.

Pharmacists with questions about the RACFId for nursing home patients are advised to contact the nursing home, and those with questions about PBS aspects of the changes to contact the Health Department.

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  1. Anne Todd

    So explain to me how increasing the data points collected on dispensing by Medicare improves safety? Just what are the data driven quality of use of medicine measures they are implementing? Have they employed a bunch of clinical pharmacists to cross check and support the supply pharmacies?

    • Jarrod McMaugh

      Not to disagree with your point, but supply pharmacists are clinicians

    • amanda cronin

      Maybe it will help look at trends like over use of antipsychotics and benzodiazepine and trends in deprescribing.

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