High-Risk Medicines

High-risk medicines are those that have a high risk of causing injury or harm if they are misused or used in error. Error rates with these medicines are not necessarily higher than with other medicines, but when problems do occur the consequences can be severe.

Internationally, many safety organisations recommend that health services identify the high-risk medicines they use through review of incident data and published information. Once identified, efforts should be made to increase safety through development of policies or guidelines to assist clinicians in the safe use of these medicines.

The NSW High-Risk Medicines Management Policy (PD2020_045) and the included minimum Standards and Individual High-Risk Medicine Management Standards set out the requirements for the safe management and use of high-risk medicines within NSW health services. The CEC High-Risk Medicines program provides a number of resources that support implementation of the policy.

The High-Risk Medicine education program provides an introduction to high-risk medicines, including their features and those that may be relevant to specific areas of practice. Participants will gain an understanding of the principles for safe use of high-risk medicines and the NSW High-Risk Medicines Management Policy that supports this. It also provides an overview of how the CEC can support health services to improve their use of high-risk medicines.

The High-Risk Medicines education program is an initiative of the CEC Medication Safety and Quality unit.

Learning objectives

At the end of this education program you will be able to:

  • Describe the features of high-risk medicines
  • Identify high-risk medicines that are relevant to your area of practice
  • Understand the principles for safe use of high-risk medicines
  • Be familiar with the NSW High-Risk Medicines Management Policy and how it can be used to support quality improvement in this area
  • Understand the role of the CEC in supporting the safe management and use of high-risk medicines in NSW health services.

It is our aim to ensure the education we provide is relevant to the needs of the staff who attend. The education program described above is all inclusive; we are flexible in the content covered during the program.

Dates of course

To be negotiated with each individual health service at the time of registration.

Mode of delivery and duration

  • Flexible delivery: face-to-face or WebEx
  • Up to 2 hours

Who should attend

Clinical staff, health managers, and safety and quality personnel.


Evaluation of program

Participants will be asked to give feedback at the end of the program. It is an expectation that all participants complete an evaluation survey so we can continue to improve the education experience.


  • Free for NSW Health Staff

Further information / how to register

Contact the Project Officer, High-Risk Medicines
Email: cec-medicationsafety@health.nsw.gov.au
Phone: 02 9269 5500