Medication management for health practitioners

We support health practitioners to manage Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Repatriation PBS (RPBS) medicines safely, through guiding principles and medication charts for use in residential aged care facilities and hospitals.

Medication charts

Medication charts enable safe and accountable medication management by providing a full picture of a patient’s medicine and health records, including:

  • what medicines have been prescribed, supplied and administered
  • patient allergies and adverse medicine reactions
  • any special needs, such as difficulty swallowing or cognitive impairment
  • prescription due dates.

This helps to:

  • improve the safety of patients, by reducing medication errors and preventing negative medicine interactions
  • support communication between all those involved in a patient’s care
  • ensure continuity of medication
  • make prescribing and dispensing easier and more efficient.

You can take an online course to learn more about completing national medication charts. 

National Residential Medication Chart (NRMC)

The paper-based NRMC can be used in residential aged care services, as well as National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care and Multi-Purpose Services that provide residential aged care. It enables health practitioners to prescribe and supply most PBS and RPBS medicines without a separate prescription.

The only exceptions that still need a prescription when using the paper NRMC are:

See the NRMC and related information, including user guides.

Electronic National Residential Medication Chart (eNRMC)

eNRMC products can be used in residential aged care services, as well as National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care and Multi-Purpose Services that provide residential aged care.

They enable health practitioners to prescribe all PBS and RPBS medicines electronically without the need for a paper chart or separate prescription (apart from Section 100 medicines, which still require a prescription).  

Compared with the paper chart, eNRMC products make medication management even easier, through:

  • automated alerts and reminders of allergies, medication interactions, prescription due dates and follow-up consultation due dates
  • a quicker and easier way for prescribers, suppliers and staff to understand a patient’s medication history and needs
  • stronger privacy security for patients
  • better and faster reporting and auditing ability.

We are supporting the rollout of eNRMC products in response to recommendation 68 of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety final report.

We have been trialling eNRMC products in residential aged care sites, and are working with software vendors to make them available nationally.

See more information about eNRMC products, including a user guide for residential aged care facilities and a software vendor information book. 

Status of eNRMC rollout

eNRMC Adoption grant open for applications

The first round of the eNRMC Adoption grant opportunity is now open for applications.

You can apply for funding to help you adopt an eNRMC product, if you are:

  • a residential aged care service
  • an Multi-Purpose Service that provides residential aged care services
  • a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged care service that provides residential aged care.

Several software vendors are developing eNRMC products that meet:

Once approved, these systems will be listed on the Australian Digital Health Agency’s electronic prescribing conformance register.

We expect conformant eNRMC products to be available at the end of 2022. In the meantime, all residential aged care providers will have the option to adopt transitional eNRMC products from 1 July 2022 under the special arrangement legislation.

For their product to be approved for use under the transitional arrangement, vendors must provide the Australian Digital Health Agency with evidence that it meets conformance requirements.

A transitional eNRMC product can be used for legal PBS and RPBS electronic medication chart prescribing, dispensing and administration purposes. But it must not send prescription information to a prescription delivery service.

While not mandatory, we encourage you to adopt these systems, which can significantly reduce administrative burden and increase patient safety.

Electronic National Residential Medication Chart (eNRMC) transitional arrangement collection

This collection contains information about the transitional arrangements in the rollout of the electronic National Residential Medication Chart (eNRMC) products. It includes specific information for residential aged care providers, prescribers, software vendors and pharmacists.

PBS hospital medication chart (PBS HMC)

The PBS HMC is for use in Australian public and private hospitals. These are available either as paper-based or electronic charts.

See more information about PBS HMC, including a user guide and fact sheets for prescribers and pharmacists.

Electronic medication charts for chemotherapy patients

We have worked with industry and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to develop information requirements for electronic chemotherapy charts. Once legislated, they will support safe electronic prescribing, dispensing, claiming and administration of chemotherapy medicines. These will be available in the second half of 2022.

In the meantime, we have put in place a temporary special arrangement for chemotherapy patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. This allows the prescribing, supply and claiming of PBS benefits for chemotherapy patients (excluding Section 100 medicines) directly from a paper or electronic medication chart.

Once the information requirements are legislated, we will then work with software vendors to help them implement the change. The special arrangement will then cease.

Medication management guiding principles

Under the National Medicines Policy, a series of guiding principles help to promote safe, quality use of medicines and medication management:

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care are currently reviewing these guiding principles.

Related information

See more information about:

Contact

National Residential Medication Chart contact

Contact us for if you have questions about the paper and electronic National Residential Medication Chart (NRMC) and the electronic NRMC (eNRMC) trial.

enrmc [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Hospital and chemotherapy medication charts

Contact us for if you have questions about hospital medication charts or electronic chemotherapy medication charts.

pbshmc [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
15 August 2022

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