Safety and quality update: May 2021

New this month: Apply to be our new ACHS representative; National Opioid Analgesic Stewardship Program; Prescribing competencies framework update; WebAIRS update; and the latest safety alerts.

EOI for ACHS representative

We are looking to appoint a new college representative to the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) to take over from Associate Professor Jo Sutherland. The ACHS Council advises the ACHS Board on policy, strategic planning in relation to accreditation activities, and policy development.

The appointee will represent ANZCA policy and views to the ACHS Council, and report to the college on the council’s activities and any issues significant to ANZCA. Please send your CV and a brief explanation of how you meet the following criteria to sq@anzca.edu.au by 31 May:

1.  Understanding of the ANZCA mission and policy.
2.  Understanding of hospital functions and role of accreditation in organisational improvement.
3.  Interest in safety and quality processes.

Prescribing competencies framework

NPS MedicineWise has reviewed its prescribing competencies framework which describes prescribing expectations for all prescribers, regardless of profession. The framework defines the competencies important to each stage of the prescribing process. Updates from the previous edition include a stronger focus on the essential prescribing competencies rather than general professional practice competencies, a renewed focus on the provision of person-centred care, and simplified language and structure. 

National Opioid Analgesic Stewardship Program – Discussion Paper

The Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) is consulting on the use of opioid analgesics in emergency departments, perioperative and surgical services. The ACSQHC is also interested in learning more about education and training for prescribers of opioid analgesics.

Feedback from this consultation will be used to inform the development of a National Opioid Analgesic Stewardship Program. Those wishing to contribute can provide written feedback via email or complete a short online survey. The consultation is open until midnight (AEST) on Friday 28 May 2021.

WebAIRS update

Professor Alan Merry, founding member of the Australian and New Zealand Tripartite Anaesthetic Data Committee (ANZTADC), has co-authored a book, ‘Medication Safety During Anesthesia and the Perioperative Period’, with Professor Joyce Wahr, Vice Chair of Quality and Safety, Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Minnesota. The book includes chapters on failures in medication safety during anaesthesia and the perioperative period, and barriers to improving medication safety. Members can access the e-book through the ANZCA library.

Surgery following the AstraZeneca vaccine

The college’s Safety and Quality Committee has sought expert advice about surgery for those who have had the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination..

Safety alerts

For all safety alerts see here.


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Last updated 16:57 15.06.2021