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Revised National Medication Chart 2021

The national medication charts are used in inpatient settings to record the medicines prescribed and administered to a patient, along with any allergies and adverse reactions from medicines.

The Health Quality & Safety Commission commenced a review of the chart suite in 2019, ensuring that the design was evolving to meet the need of current clinical practice. The revised charts were made available to the sector in February 2021.

Why do we have a national medication chart?

The suite of five charts was introduced to reduce medication errors and improve patient safety through the standardisation of paper-based medication charts used in Aotearoa New Zealand hospitals. The design of the charts was the result of an eight-year development phase involving many health professionals. The charts are supported by a toolkit which includes a user guide and medication charting standard.

The charts are extensively used across the sector by all district health board (DHB) hospitals, some hospices and private hospitals. The Commission’s preference is for electronic prescribing systems, with paper-based charts intended as an interim stop-gap allowing DHBs time to implement electronic prescribing.

For the review of the charts, an interdisciplinary committee was established. The Committee's aim was to review the utility of the charts as part of the three-yearly review process. Changes were incorporated into the charts after considering clinical practice, the risk of error and the limitations of a paper-based system.

The Commission supports a suite of five inpatient national medication charts:

  • 1-day (day stay) chart
  • 8-day chart
  • 8-day scannable chart
  • 16-day chart
  • 16-day scannable chart.

The official printer for the charts is:

Spectrum Print
PO Box 2566
Christchurch 8140

Other medication charts are available

Several other charts are also available. Based on the design features of the inpatient national medication charts, these charts were developed by individual DHBs and the Commission with a similar standardised layout, look and feel:

  • renal dialysis chart
  • 30-day mental health chart
  • ePrescribing transfer medication chart
  • community based nursing chart.

Aged residential care

Click here for more information about the aged residential care medication chart, and an implementation and training guide.

Related Resources

Last updated: 31st January, 2022