National Prescribing Service


GPSA partners with the National Prescribing Service (NPS), South Australian Divisions of General Practice and the Drug and Therapeutics Information Service (DATIS) to optimise the implementation of NPS Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) Programs for health professionals

NPS program activities include:

  • educational visiting (academic detailing) and small-group case-based discussion for GPs on therapeutic topics that are linked to national activities and resources
  • interactive workshops and seminars to promote development of critical appraisal skills relevant to prescribing of medicines for GPs
  • communication on QUM issues for GPs
  • inclusion of pharmacists and other community health professionals in program delivery
  • supporting community workshops on medicines and peer education programs about medicines for seniors
  • raising QUM issues in local media.

NPS Program Resources:

  • Early use of insulin and antidiabetic agents
  • Preventing osteoporosis and reducing fracture risk
  • Selective use of antibiotics
  • Analgesic choices in persistent pain
  • COPD: Interventions for better outcomes

NPS Campaigns

The Common colds need common sense, not antibiotics campainge has recently been updaqted. Range of free resources are available to supplement general practitioners patient education:

  • Symptomatic managment pad for doctors to use with patients as a take hgome counselling tool to ‘p[rescribe’ treatment for symptoms
  • Patient leaflets covering a sort throat, cough and middle ear infection
  • Common colds need common sense, not antiviotics consumer borchure (updated this year)
  • Keep your cold under poster for patient waiting areas
    Visit the new NPS common colds website: NPS Common Colds

Program Objectives:

To supply all general practitioners and other health professionals in prescribed geographical areas a nationally coordinated program to promote the Quality Use of Medicines. The program aims to:

  • Improve health outcomes in target areas
  • Achieve better prescribing and use of medicines in target areas
  • Improve QUM awareness, competence and skills for health professionals and consumers
  • Build the capacity of the QUM workforce
  • Provide leadership and national coordination of QUM activity
  • Undertake evaluation, research and communications that support innovation and learning in QUM

GPSA contributes to the program aims and objectives by:

  • Brokering annual meetings between the NPS and South Australian Divisions Executive Network
  • Meeting with the NPS face to face and participating in QUM teleconferences
  • Integrating NPS QUM program resources and initiatives within GPSAs Nursing in General Practice (NiGP), Mental Health and Home Medicines Review programs
  • Advising NPS on State Government initiatives that are relevant to QUM
  • Providing state level coordination for QUM programs
  • Leading twice yearly face to face QUM meetings between South Australia’s Division-based QUM facilitators and the DATIS academic detailing team
  • Facilitating QUM communication through the administration of the QUM list serv.

South Australian QUM Facilitators

General Practice Network South, Janet McNeece –
Adelaide Western GPN, Cathy Caird –
Adelaide Central & Eastern DGP, Shalini Simmons –
Adelaide North East DGP, Sheridan Russell –
Adelaide Northern DGP, Angela Close –
Adelaide Hills DGP, Alice Windle –
Murray Mallee GPN, Inara Beecher –
York Peninsula, Jane Ford –
Barossa DGP, Ali Devitt-Lansom –
Riverland DGP, Jayne Miller –
Mid North Division of Rural Medicine, Sarah Wiles –
Limestone Coast DGP, Nadine Long –
Eyre Peninsula DGP, Amy Greig –
Flinders & Far North DGP, Andrea Triggs –

Resources & Links:

NPS Drug Use Evaluation (DUE) programs

Drug use evaluation (DUE) is a quality improvement activity which uses an ongoing cyclical process to improve quality use of medicines and health outcomes. It involves monitoring and reviewing drug use, evaluating and comparing it with best practice guidelines, and using multifaceted interventions to improve drug use and overall patient care – this cycle is repeated as often as necessary to achieve set goals. DUE activities focus on specific disease or therapeutic areas for aged care homes as well as hospitals.

NPS Consumers Medicines Line

Medicines Line is a phone information service that provides consumers with independent information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary (herbal/’natural’/vitamin/mineral) medicines (it is NOT for medical emergencies).

Ph: 1300 888 763
Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm AEST

NPS Health Professionals Therapeutic Advice and Information Service (TAIS)

The TAIS is a medicines information line specifically for health professionals including doctors, pharmacists and nurses. It is funded by the National Prescribing Service (NPS) and staffed by specialist drug information pharmacists.

Ph: 1300 138 677
Mon – Fri 9am – 7pm AEST

Australian Government National Inpatient Medication Chart

At the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference in April 2004, Ministers agreed that;

“to reduce the harm to patients from medication errors, by June 2006, all public hospitals will be using a common mediation chart. This means that the same chart will be used wherever a doctor or nurse works and wherever the patient is within a hospital.”

The response to the Health Ministers was the National Inpatient Medication Chart which has been implemented across Australian public hospitals and across a significant number of private hospitals.

Program Contact(s):
Name: Amanda Allport Haller
Position: Clinical Quality Manager
Phone: (08) 8179 1722
Fax: (08) 8271 8344