Medication Safety Principles

Medication safety is a fundamental patient right. Every patient has the right to receive effective medicine in the safest possible manner. Promoting and supporting medication safety is the core business of the CEC Medication Safety and Quality unit.

Medication safety principles apply to all parts of, and all people involved in, the medication management pathway: prescribing, storage and distribution, dispensing, administering and monitoring of medicines. Medication safety requires the involvement of a multidisciplinary team (medical, nursing and pharmacy staff, as well as patients) with leadership, sponsorship and governance from the health service’s management.

Ensuring safe medication systems are in place is essential to every health service’s risk management strategy, which should be supported by quality improvement methodology and driven by a multidisciplinary team. The Medication Safety Self Assessment® (MSSA) provides a structured risk assessment process that can assist services identify gaps in their current medication safety systems and identify areas for improvement.

The Medication Safety Principles education program provides an introduction to the medication management pathway and the concept of medication safety, including the theory behind medication errors, how they occur, the reasons why they occur and what can be done to help prevent them. It also provides an overview of the MSSA and how it can be used by health services to identify areas for improvement in their medication safety systems.

Learning objectives

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

  • Explain the medication management pathway, including the various parts and people involved
  • Describe what a medication error is, how they occur and the reasons why they occur
  • Describe how and where to report medication errors
  • Describe the purpose of the Medication Safety Self Assessment® (MSSA)
  • Understand how the MSSA can be used by health services to improve their medication safety systems
  • Apply the knowledge gained to help prevent medication errors occurring in your workplace
  • Understand the role of the CEC in supporting medication safety 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.

Course dates

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 Medication Safety and Quality unit
Phone: 02 9269 5500