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Medication Management

Why is medication management important?

Medication management is an increasingly complex issue in the residential aged care sector. 'Ageing in place' means that a significant number of residents progress from low to high care during their residency, have a greater number of co-morbidities and take multiple medicines. Residents of aged care facilities are prescribed significantly more medicines than those living in the community[1] and as such are more prone to adverse events, interactions and other drug related problems.

Achieving quality use of medicines

The goal of medication management is centred on achieving the optimum health outcomes for the resident and must focus on the quality use of medicines. Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) means[2]:

  • selecting management options wisely
  • choosing suitable medicines if a medicine is considered necessary
  • using medicines safely and effectively

What is medication management?

The content of this site attempts to describe (by listing key skills) and support (by providing access to resources and tools) the role of registered nurses as managers of medicines. Registered nurses readily identify a number of tasks associated with the medication management process – storage of medicines, administration to the resident, monitoring and recording the outcome of the administered medicines. Medication management in residential aged care must be implemented within the context of relevant Commonwealth and state legislation and professional association guidelines. Medication management includes the procurement of medicines for residents; interactions with health professionals to ensure wise selection and monitoring of management options; management of a team of care staff; supervision and delegation; education of self, colleagues, residents and their families.


1. Baker, H. and Napthine, R., Nurses and Medication: a literature review. 1994
2. National Medicines Policy, Department of Health and Ageing, 2000 Commonwealth of Australia.

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