Recommendations from Report on serious misconduct risks around dangerous drugs in hospitals tabled on 25 May 2018.

To improve the security and management of Schedule 8 and Schedule 4 restricted drugs, the Commission makes the following recommendations:

  • WA Health's ODs and hospital policies be reviewed to ensure that policies for drug management, recording and reporting discrepancies are consistent across WA Health.
  • Clear accountability roles be established for the management of drugs.
  • Records of drugs received, drug transactions and audits of drugs on hand be accurate, frequent, enforced and audited.
  • Policies be developed and implemented to improve security for patients' own drugs, including transport and storage of those drugs.
  • Drug discrepancies, whether the cause is known or not, be reported immediately (subject to patient needs) and investigated, and when appropriate, be notified to the Commission as soon as possible.
  • Drug discrepancies which may be the result of theft be investigated by officers with investigative skills as possible serious misconduct.
  • Ongoing education and training be given to relevant staff in drug management, record keeping, reporting discrepancies and investigating discrepancies.
  • Consideration be given to implementing systems which could improve security and better recording of access to drugs. This could include swipe key access, biometric identification or, where feasible, systems where identifications of two people are required to authorise drug transactions.
  • Strategies be developed and implemented for detecting and dealing with drug related misconduct. These could include intelligence analysis of discrepancies and reported behaviour to detect patterns, and risk assessments of WA Health sites which deal with Schedule 8 and Schedule 4 restricted drugs.