What is the NPS DMACS drug use evaluation (DUE) toolkit?

The DMACS DUE toolkit was created after a national quality improvement project in 49 Australian public and private hospitals. The toolkit contains:

  • An electronic audit tool for data collection and summary reporting
  • Resources to support the DUE process
  • Educational resources to assist healthcare professionals improve their knowledge and implement learning about the discharge management of patients with ACS.


The DUE cycle

DUE promotes optimal drug therapy. It involves:

  • Monitoring drug use
  • Comparing drug use with specific predefined standards or best practice to identify gaps
  • Initiating targeted actions/interventions where gaps in practice are identified

The DMACS DUE toolkit follows the steps outlined in the DMACS DUE cycle.

Review process

1. Gain support

  • Gain support from local hospital committee(s) and a local opinion leader or clinical expert to help engage others and to support the DUE implementation
  • Form a team including nursing, medical and pharmacy staff and managers

2. Collect data

  • Use the team to assist with data collection, and where available use students and/or pharmacy interns

3. Evaluate data

  • Use the automated summary report from the e-DUE tool to identify and highlight key areas for improvement

4. Provide feedback

  • Find opportunities such as nursing, medical, intern and pharmacy training sessions to engage with and feedback results using the Powerpoint presentation template provided in the online toolkit

5. Action

  • Choose one area for improvement to focus initially, where success is most likely, to improve the chances of success of further interventions

6. Assess impact

  • Commit and plan to re-audit at a defined time after the initial audit (e.g. 6 months later) to assess the success of the intervention
  • Report and publicise your results using channels such as Drug Bulletin, hospital newsletters, Grand Rounds

7. Monitor and re-evaluate

  • Use the DUE cycle as a platform for continuous quality improvement


Why use the NPS DMACS DUE toolkit?

The DMACS DUE toolkit enables users to:
  • audit the quality of patient care at discharge for patients diagnosed with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) by measuring key quality indicators including:
    • discharge medication
    • referral to cardiac rehabilitation program
    • communication to patient and their carers and primary healthcare provider
  • provide real-time reporting of key indicators/performance measures at an individualhospital level to identify opportunities for improvement
  • provide indicator feedback data in a user-friendly format to inform appropriate educational intervention/quality improvement strategy/s
Complete the DMACS DUE to:
  • Determine the quality of the discharge management of patients with ACS in your hospital.
  • Take the lead in tailored hospital-focused educational intervention for behaviour change and quality improvement in discharge management of patients with ACS.
  • Assist your hospital to comply with standards and guidelines such as the National Heart Foundation ACS guidelines; the Australian Pharmaceutical Advisory Council Guiding principles to achieve continuity in medication management, JULY 2005; Queensland Health Quality Complaints Commission standard: Management of acute myocardial infarction on and following discharge or transfer and Indicators for Quality Use of Medicines in Australian Hospitals.
  • Earn professional development points.


Who should use the DMACS DUE toolkit?

The toolkit is available to all hospitals and suitable for use by hospital medical, surgical, pharmacy and nursing staff working with patients with a discharge diagnosis of ACS.

Note that this toolkit is not only intended for use by hospitals that participated in the initial DMACS  project, but any hospital with an interest in improving the quality of discharge management  of patients with ACS.