We all agree quality use of medicines is important but “how do we know if we’re making a difference?”

Medicines data needs to be connected across systems and settings, and we need to better use appropriately designed digital platforms to support good decisions about quality use of medicines, delegates at the 2021 National Medicines Symposium (NMS) have heard today.

The fully virtual event hosted by NPS MedicineWise took place today, Tuesday 18 May 2021 with the theme Evaluating quality use of medicines: How do we know if we’re making a difference?

Presenters and panel discussion participants including Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government Prof Michael Kidd and Chief Executive at the Bureau of Health Information Dr Diane Watson discussed what success in quality use of medicines looks like, and provided insights on measuring the impact of complex change programs in healthcare.

Human factors researcher at the University of Sydney, Associate Professor Melissa Baysari presented on how digital health has made it easier to evaluate quality use of medicines, but highlighted data accuracy as a new challenge.

The importance of integration of digital information across the healthcare system has been a strong theme throughout the symposium. Integrated health information can build trust with patients through creating a connected, consistent and quality care experience across care settings.

“The challenge for everyone who has a hand in delivering on quality use of medicines (QUM) is to translate data into meaningful information which informs good decision making for consumers, clinicians and health policy makers,” said NPS MedicineWise CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris.

“Having common agreed goals and targets and identifying relevant indicators that are meaningful to the whole system will help us ensure we guide actions that will improve the use of medicines in Australia,” he said.

Researchers and clinicians presented lightning talks and posters on a range of topics encompassing the challenges and successes of measurement of quality use of medicines initiatives.

The online event – the second time the National Medicines Symposium has been hosted as a virtual event – supported online discussion between delegates and provided digital networking opportunities for quality use of medicines stakeholders including a virtual speed networking session, while the conversation also continued on social media with the hashtag #NMS2021.

The Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting directly follows NMS 2021 on Wednesday 19 May 2021 with the theme Empowering consumers to choose wisely.


Media contact

Matthew Harris, NPS MedicineWise Communications & PR adviser: (02) 8217 9229, 0419 618 365 or [email protected]