The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission releases Practice Alerts for Providers to help support people with disability as emerging issues are identified.
Polypharmacy is often defined as the use of five or more medications, or two or more psychotropic medications, at the same time. It increases the risk of medication-related adverse effects and poorer health outcomes.
This practice alert explains the risks associated with polypharmacy, how to support NDIS participants who receive polypharmacy, and provider obligations.
- Polypharmacy is often defined as the use of five or more medications, or two or more psychotropic medications, at the same time.
- Polypharmacy increases the risk of medication-related adverse effects and poorer health outcomes.
- Participants taking multiple medications should have these reviewed every 3 to 6 months by a medical practitioner or pharmacist.
Provider obligations related to polypharmacy
NDIS Code of Conduct
The NDIS Code of Conduct requires all NDIS providers and workers who deliver NDIS supports to NDIS participants to, among other things:
- provide supports and services in a safe and competent manner with care and skill
- promptly take steps to raise and act on concerns about matters that might have an impact on the quality and safety of supports provided to people with disability.
NDIS Practice Standards
As a registered NDIS provider, you also have obligations under the NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators, as part of your conditions of registration, that relate to the delivery of safe, quality supports and services, and the management of risks associated with the supports you provide to NDIS participants. The NDIS Practice Standard and Quality Indicator that is most relevant to this alert relates to Medication Management. This standard applies to a provider that is responsible for administering medication to participants. The standard expects that each participant requiring medication is confident their provider administers, stores and monitors the effects of their medication and works to prevent errors or incidents.
To achieve this outcome, the Quality Indicators state the following should be demonstrated:
- Records clearly identify the medication and dosage required by each participant, including all information required to correctly identify the participant and to safely administer the medication.
- All workers responsible for administering medication understand the effects and side-effects of the medication and the steps to take in the event of an incident involving medication.
- All medications are stored safely and securely, can be easily identified and differentiated, and are only accessed by appropriately trained workers.
The above information is taken as an extract from the alert.
Akadia is able to assist you meet your obligations through comprehensive staff training in the Safe and Effective Management of Medication facilitated by a qualified health professional.