CIAP Newsletter

November 14-20 celebrates Antibiotics Awareness Week which is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise awareness of the problem of antibiotic resistance and ways to address this issue. To mark this occasion, the focus of the CIAP newsletter this month is medications.

The medications resources are some of the most utilised resources on CIAP with MIMS, Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH) and Therapeutic Guidelines (eTG) being among the most popular. Although there is a continually high usage of the medications resources, there are certain features within them that you might not be aware of. This month’s newsletter will give insight into those features as well as some tips and tricks on how the medications resources can be fully utilised.


MIMS is CIAP’s most used resource and is an excellent Australian tool for finding drug information. Most clinicians will be familiar with how to perform a search within MIMS but some features that you might not be aware of are the Pill Identifier, Crush Information, Consumer Medicines Information sheets and the Drug Interaction checker. Each feature is briefly explained and discussed below but for a detailed look, please refer to the MIMS video tutorial which can be found in the Knowledge Centre.

Pill ID – The Pill ID tool can be found on the home page of MIMS (above the search box) to search for a drug by its visual appearance in order to find its medical name and drug information. By simply selecting the colour and shape of the drug, you will be presented with a list of all pills that meet those characteristics in the MIMS database. Further refinements can be made by selecting whether the pill has scoring/markings and other details if known.

Crush? - Information from The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia’s (SHPA) Don’t Rush to Crush handbook has been integrated into MIMS, for many medications. Where available, this provides step by step details for administration of medications to patients with enteral feeding tubes or swallowing difficulties. (This example is from a search for the drug ‘Amoxycillin’). Crush information can be found on all drugs that have the Crush? link highlighted.

Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) – Clinicians often ask CIAP where they can find consumer medicines information. When performing a search in MIMS, all of the displayed results that have a CMI handout will have a ‘CMI’ link on the right hand side of that page (This example is from a search for the drug ‘Amoxycillin’). The CMI page is written in plain English, is printable and can be given to patients who would like further information about the drugs they are being prescribed.

Drug Interactions – This feature allows you to search for interaction information about a particular drug with one other or by all known interactions. To search for all interactions, enter the drug name in the search field and click ‘Drug interactions’ to display a comprehensive list. Further details are available by selecting ‘Interaction Details’ (green tab). To research one to one interactions, use the Add/Remove link (in blue on the Drug Interactions page) and add or remove your selections then click Check Interactions. (This example is from a search for the drug ‘Amoxycillin’).


Similar to MIMS, Micromedex also includes a drug interaction tool and drug ID tool. However, it also includes a number of different features such as a choice of basic or in depth drug information, an IV compatibility checker and a drug comparison tool which are outlined below:

IV Compatibility – The IV compatibility checker can be found at the top of the Micromedex home page. From here you can search for a drug to check whether or not it can be administered via an IV infusion. You can also search for two or more drugs and solutions to view compatibility information.

Drug Comparison – The drugs comparison tool is particularly useful when comparing the effectiveness of one drug treatment with another. Entering the name of two drugs will display the full product information for both side by side with subheadings for a detailed comparison. Try entering Aspirin and Paracetamol to the checker to view an example.

Natural Medicines

Natural Medicines is a comprehensive, evidence-based database comprising in depth information on complementary medications, dietary supplements and integrative therapies ranging from acupuncture to St John’s Wort. Professional monographs provide information on a substance’s relative effectiveness, food interactions, use in pregnancy and for children, safety information, pharmacokinetics and an evidence summary. Patient information is also available.

Interaction Checker – A particularly useful feature is the interaction checker, where prescription drugs may be checked for interactions with supplements, foods, herbs and so on. For example, an interaction check for Warfarin reveals not only commonly known interactions, such as broccoli, but hundreds of natural supplement interactions from cocoa to glucosamine and wild cherry.

MORE about Medications

Note that CIAP’s medications panel contains a MORE button on the bottom right. Select MORE to view a list of topic headings: each of these contains recommendations of evidence-based resources most pertinent to that topic area. These recommendations have been made in collaboration with the NSW Medicines Information Centre. For example, the lactation/pregnancy guide advises you to use Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation (Briggs) /AMH/TOXNET/Micromedex or Williams Obstetrics Chapter 14.

For more information on any of the resources discussed or any other medications resources on CIAP, please visit CIAP’ Knowledge Centre or call the CIAP helpdesk between 8.30am and 5pm weekdays for any technical queries.

CIAP logo

CIAP Update

CIAP Clinical Partners

It has been a year since CIAP has introduced the Clinical Partners initiative. To date, a total of 145 CIAP Clinical Partners from various local health districts and agencies within NSW Health have signed up.

Clinical Partners are clinicians and other health professionals who have chosen to advise, support, and assist their colleagues in the use and understanding of CIAP with the aim of fostering evidence-based practice and promoting CIAP educational events in their LHDs. More recently, some of our partners have taken the opportunity to partake in collaborative projects with CIAP and have contributed to the continuous improvement of our services. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge their support.

To contact your local CIAP Clinical Partner, please visit Support & Contact in the top navigation bar and select CIAP Clinical Partners.

The Joint Commission

Article in Focus

Prepublication Standards – New Antimicrobial Stewardship Standard

The Joint Commission June 22, 2016

Effective in 2017, the Joint Commission in the US requires that all hospitals and nursing care centres have antimicrobial stewardship programs. The Joint Commission outlined Eight Elements of Performance requirements in the following announcement made in June:

“The Joint Commission recently announced a new Medication Management (MM) standard (MM.09.01.01) for hospitals, critical access hospitals, and nursing care centers which addresses antimicrobial stewardship.

This standard was developed following the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, held on June 2, 2015. At the forum, The Joint Commission joined major health care organizations, food companies, retailers, and animal health organizations at the forum to express commitment for implementing changes over the next five years to slow the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, detect resistant strains, preserve the efficacy of existing antibiotics, and prevent the spread of resistant infections.”

HEP Drug Interactions logo

Gems on CIAP

HEP Drug Interaction Checker

HEP Drug Interaction Checker is a comprehensive, evidence-based drug interaction guide to interactions that may occur between different hepatitis drugs and other medications that a HCV- and/or HBV-infected patient may be prescribed. This resource is freely available to healthcare professionals, patients and researchers.

Search for potential drug interactions between hepatitis drugs and co- medications by using the alphabetised panels. Results are presented as a “Traffic Light” system (red, amber, green). A brief summary of each interaction is given and information is regularly updated as new data emerges.

HEP Drug Interactions Checker can be found under Other Recommended Websites in the Infectious Disease Specialty Guides on CIAP.

Contact the CIAP Helpdesk 24 hours, 7 days a week.

or visit Support & Contact.

You can find it on CIAP