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Electronic prescription use has surged across Australia from June, spurred on by pharmacies and patients seeking remote and contactless options for medication supply during lockdown.

The increased take-up has seen eRx Script Exchange achieve the milestone of 20 million electronic prescriptions since Australia launched national electronic prescriptions fifteen months ago. More than 28,000 doctors prescribed 10.5 million of those, while 98% of the nation’s pharmacies produced 9.5 million repeats.

The rate of usage has increased as patients and health practitioners have been affected by recurring lockdowns, with the four months from June to September 2021 seeing:

Prescriptions prescribed electronically Jun-Sep21

Electronic prescriptions have been vital in providing patients and health professionals with additional flexibility during COVID-19, including the ability for patients to obtain their medicines without attending a clinic or pharmacy (where delivery is available). Electronic prescriptions have enabled patients in isolation or quarantine to maintain uninterrupted medication supply.

Paul Naismith, pharmacist and CEO of Fred IT, says that electronic prescriptions have been central in enabling pharmacies and patients to adapt to the challenges of lockdown.

"Although we have seen widespread changes in pharmacy practice since the beginning of COVID-19, pharmacies have had to keep adapting to the Delta variant. Electronic prescriptions have played a key role in helping pharmacies manage practical issues around lockdown and social distancing, including reducing the potential time that patients are waiting in-store and reducing the number of people in-store at any one time."

According to Paul, lockdowns have seen patients also increasingly turning to pre-ordering of electronic prescriptions.

"Patients have become more digitally capable during COVID-19 and this is driving rapid change in how they connect with pharmacies. In the past week, 14,000 patients pre-ordered electronic scripts through the MedView Flow network, which means they ordered from home or elsewhere before coming in to collect their medicine. The vast majority of these thousands of pre-ordered prescriptions are click and collect, although delivery services are growing."

Whilst pre-ordering prescriptions has always been possible, the removal of the need for the paper script follow-up has substantially streamlined the process for patients and pharmacies. Where pharmacies are using MedView Flow, electronic script orders are also submitted directly into the pharmacy queue, which further increases efficiencies.

Patients now have access to a range of options for making pre-ordering scripts easier.

The new “How can I get this prescription dispensed?” button on eRx digital tokens (image below) offers an increasing selection of apps and services. The MedView Flow network of 2600 participating pharmacies are receiving prescription orders directly into the dispensary from the following patient driven services:

  • Fast token send with MedView Patient Connect
  • WhatsApp from their My Script List
  • Medication management apps, including MedAdvisor, myPharmacyLink and Medmate

For further information and resources for your pharmacy see ePrescriptions

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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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