27 September 2016

About medication safety

Medication safety is a key initiative of the Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit.

Every year in Australia almost 200 million prescriptions are dispensed in the Australian health system.

In a 2 week period, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that approximately 69 per cent of the population have taken at least 1 medication and 91 per cent of older people will have taken medicines.1

It is estimated that up to 140,000 hospital admissions each year are associated with problems with the use of medicines.1

Medicines account for up to 20 per cent of all things that go wrong in health care and are estimated to cost $380 million per year in the public hospital system.1

Medication safety is therefore a key strategic goal for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (external site). A number of key projects have been established at state and national levels to improve medication safety for patients in Australia.

More information

Medicines and Technology Unit
Address: 3 Forrest Place, Perth
Email: DoH.MedicinesandTechnologyUnit@health.wa.gov.au 

Last reviewed: 27-09-2016
Produced by

Patient Safety and Clinical Quality