83% of pharmacies and 65% of doctors now use eRx. Read an excellent article here on how that was achieved within 5 years, and what it means for the Australian health sector in future.
The article was written by David Freemantle, GM Enterprise Solutions, Fred IT Group, and published in Pulse+IT magazine.
The electronic transmission of prescriptions (ETP) market has been steadily evolving in Australia for over five years, with the last 12 months in particular seeing tremendous growth in usage. With the plumbing now in place, eRx can be used as a key platform for the delivery of effective electronic medications management programs.
So what is electronic transmission of prescriptions? ETP is the secure transmission of prescription information between doctors and pharmacists with the key benefits being:
- Improved quality and safety of medication provision
- Improved efficiency, particularly in pharmacy dispensing workflow
- Reduced potential for errors of transcription
- Creating a foundation essential to the wider eHealth system.
ETP has been resounding proof that the medical software industry can work together to quickly deliver quality outcomes, with all of the major doctor and pharmacy vendors having integrated to ETP.
The creation of an integrated healthcare platform connecting doctors and pharmacists creates great potential to further enhance the communication between these members of a patient’s care team. The ETP platform has established a national infrastructure integrating health professionals in every corner of the nation to better communicate and share clinical information for the benefit of the patient.
Australia’s first prescription exchange service, eRx Script Exchange, was officially launched in 2009 and has grown steadily since that point. With approximately 83 per cent of pharmacies and 65 per cent of doctors across Australia using the service, eRx is now transacting an average of five million medications transactions per week or over 220 million original and repeat prescription dispensing messages per annum.
There are currently two prescription exchanges active in the Australian ETP market: eRx Script Exchange and MediSecure. With the push towards an integrated eHealth environment, the development of a model of interoperability between the two prescription exchange services was an important step.
Released in December 2012, the interoperability model allows for ePrescriptions sent to either prescription exchange service to be dispensed no matter which system the pharmacy uses where the patient presents.
With the ETP infrastructure well established, there is enormous potential over time to support future eHealth concepts such as a paperless prescription process. In given scenarios, paperless prescribing is considered a significant driver of efficiency gains and clinical benefits.