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Leading Australian prescribing and dispensing vendors collaborate to complete electronic prescription.

Australia’s first paperless electronic prescription in primary care was successfully prescribed and dispensed in Victoria yesterday, marking a significant first step in the national delivery of electronic prescriptions.

The first electronic prescribing and dispensing occurred between Anglesea Medical and Anglesea Pharmacy. It used the “token” model where the doctor sends the electronic prescription along with a code or “token” to the patient by SMS or email. The patient then forwards or presents the code to their chosen pharmacy for dispensing.

According to Dr David Corbet at Anglesea Medical who prescribed the first electronic prescription, “The process is as simple as writing the prescription in the usual manner and, with the consent of the patient, selecting that the prescription is generated as an electronic prescription.”

Pharmacist Jason Bratuskins dispensed the first electronic prescription in his Anglesea pharmacy. He commented, “Our patients and staff have been profoundly influenced by the isolation requirements of COVID-19, and it has been terrific to be part of efforts to re-define how we support our patients with alternative options for fulfilling prescriptions. I was pleased to see that this could sit comfortably alongside our existing processes.”

This week’s successful electronic prescription occurred using the Best Practice prescribing system, prescription exchange service eRx Script Exchange, Fred NXT Dispense and MedView Flow.

Pharmacist and CEO of Fred IT Group, Paul Naismith said,

“The achievement of the first successful electronic prescription in primary care settings is a major step forward in Australia’s provision of a digital network that provides patients with flexibility for how they access their medications. I am very proud of the Fred and eRx teams which, through ongoing innovation and hard work, have achieved this result ahead of schedule in a very challenging work environment.”

CEO of Best Practice, Dr Frank Pyefinch, was thrilled to hear that the first electronic script had been successfully transferred using Best Practice Software, saying,

“Our team has pulled out all stops to deliver this important functionality as quickly as possible and we expect that it will confirm that electronic prescriptions are the way of the future. It is history in the making!”

The token model will work alongside the Active Script List (ASL) to provide patients with flexibility in how they digitally access their medications. This week’s success covered the entire electronic process of the token model: prescribing electronically in Best Practice, providing the patient with a token with the required number of repeats via eRx, sending the dispensing request to the pharmacy, integrating it into the pharmacy’s workflow, based on MedView Flow, and then dispensing in Fred NXT.

Fred CEO Paul Naismith emphasised that ongoing industry collaboration will be vital to the national delivery of electronic prescriptions. Naismith concluded, “The priority from here is to continue approving participating vendor systems and understand what is needed to prepare patients, prescribers and pharmacies for a national system of electronic prescriptions. The token model and ASL are both important components of a national approach which provides patients with the flexibility and security to manage their electronic prescriptions in collaboration with their local prescriber and pharmacist.”

Watch ePrescriptions in action

What our customers think

  • “eRx allows my practitioners to send prescriptions electronically directly to the patient, so they instantly have their prescription. It saves admin time faxing and posting, and allows us more time to focus on helping our patients.”
    – Char MacDonald - Abermain Surgery and NSW/ACT AAPM Committee Member
  • “We love using eRx. It’s great when those barcodes come through, scanning them makes dispensing so much easier. eRx improves patient safety by reducing transcription errors which is important to us.”
    – Alex Keipert - Pharmacy Owner - Mudgee NSW
  • “I commend eRx and ePrescriptions, as it has reduced my workload of printing a minimum of over 100 scripts every week, in addition to having to sign each script twice and having to handwrite the details of the S8 scripts. Also the Real Time Prescription Monitoring (RTPM) has helped in checking the status with restricted scripts.”
    – Dr Mario Fernando - Principal GP at Lima Medical Pty Ltd, Bendigo VIC
  • “Just a note to tell you how happy I am with eRx and ePrescriptions. When I scan prescriptions all the information is immediately there and it saves so much time. Also, ctg scripts are caught, (which often get missed as I notice from repeats we get from other pharmacies), which allows us to provide a more efficient service to our customers.”
    – Glenna Hinschen - Proserpine Pharmacy

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