Medical warnings warn the provider of any known dangers relating to the specific individual and the administration of therapeutic medicines (eg, allergies, drug sensitivities, or adverse medical reactions). Warnings are categorised as ‘warnings’ or ‘dangers’. Doctors submit an incident, such as an allergic reaction, as a warning. The Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring can review and upgrade this warning to a danger if it could be potentially life-threatening.


Medical alerts indicate significant medical conditions, such as renal failure requiring dialysis, which are likely to have an impact on care decisions.


Like the NHI, the MWS contains information of operational-level significance, and the responsibility for maintaining the content of the MWS rests with health and disability support services.


The MWS enables important data from different clinical information systems to be available to these services where and when it could be important.


The purpose of the MWS is to warn health providers of any known risk factors that may be important when making clinical decisions about individual patient care.

Information held in MWS

Each medical warning consists of:

  • NHI number of who the warning relates to
  • Date and Time the warning was created
  • Criticality of the warning
  • Coding to classify the warning
  • Description of the warning
  • Doctor and their hospital/facility who created the warning


Types of warnings in the Medical Warning System are:

  • Allergies to medications, foods and environmental conditions
  • Anaesthesia airway warnings
  • Blood administration and products warnings
  • Child Protection Alerts
  • Clinical Trial Alerts
  • Significant and ongoing health condition alerts
  • Implanted medical devices
  • Alerts that a patient is willing to donate organs
  • Alerts regarding infection control
  • Opioid Substitution treatment alerts
  • Specific needs for patient care eg interpreter required


Doctors in hospitals have access to MWS, to review any warnings and alerts when they are treating patients.  They can also create warnings for their patients.

Centre of adverse reactions monitoring (CARM)

CARM assess reports of adverse reactions and following clinical review create warnings on MWS.

Primary Care GPs

Work is underway to give GPs access to MWS medication, food and environmental allergies. Currently this is not widely available primary care.