WhatsApp is one of Australia’s most popular messenger apps, and home to the Australian Government’s official Covid-19 channel. The launch of prescription ordering via WhatsApp means that it will be even easier for patients to view and manage their electronic prescriptions. Patients will also now have the flexibility to order their electronic prescriptions via WhatsApp, SMS or email.
Patients will also be able to use WhatsApp to quickly and easily access their My Script List to message their pharmacy to arrange for a prescription to be dispensed. My Script List is Australia’s first active script list, launched in Tasmania in April 2021, and now available to all states and territories. It provides GPs, patients and pharmacies with visibility of all of a patient’s current prescriptions and repeats in one digital list for the first time. The new script list complements the existing methods of the paper script and digital token – the digitised script sent by the doctor to a patient’s email or phone – which was introduced in May 2020.
According to pharmacist and CEO of Fred IT Group, Paul Naismith,
"The addition of WhatsApp ordering makes it significantly easier for patients to manage their medications, and means that a significant number of patients now have the flexibility to choose between using SMS, email or WhatsApp to order their prescriptions. We know that more and more, consumers are favouring one app that they can use for many interactions. As the most widely used chat app in Australia, this means that the WhatsApp options for script ordering will be available to the most people possible"
In 2020, Fred won an Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) Innovation Challenge for its work on developing WhatsApp as a way to enable Australians to easily access their prescriptions electronically.
WhatsApp prescription ordering uses a WhatsApp chatbot and includes end-to-end encryption. Pharmacies using Fred dispensing software have access to WhatsApp prescription ordering. This is available via MedView Patient Connect, which is part of MedView Flow.
Fred IT Group launched a new digital script list, called My Script List, last week to provide pharmacies with a complete list of all of a patient’s current prescriptions and repeats for the first time.
My Script List was launched in Tasmania on Thursday 22 April. It will be rolled out to the remaining states and territories by the end of May. The new digital list will make it significantly easier for pharmacists to help patients identify the correct electronic prescription, removing concerns about patients losing prescriptions, or having to locate the right prescription or digital token.
According to Joseph O’Malley, Pharmacist and owner of Westside Pharmacy in Ulverstone, Tasmania, and Director of Pharmaceutical Defence Limited:
“My Script List has provided us with better visibility of our patients’ current prescriptions. This helps us to reduce the pressure that patients experience, as they no longer need to worry about remembering their scripts or sorting through tokens on their phone. Instead, they simply come in and talk to us and let us manage their prescriptions. My Script List has also removed the need to keep scripts on file, so is much easier to manage than printing and filling paper prescriptions."
Electronic prescriptions were launched in Australia in May 2020 with a digital token method (the electronic prescription sent by the doctor to a patient’s email or phone) alongside the existing paper prescription. In the six months since launch:
My Script List is a Department of Health conformant Active Script List (ASL). It works alongside the token method and the original paper prescription. Whilst the token method generates a separate token for each prescription and repeat, My Script List combines the patient’s electronic prescriptions in one digital list.
According to pharmacist and CEO of the Fred IT Group, Paul Naismith:
“My Script List will substantially reduce the administrative burden associated with managing and dispensing prescriptions. This is extremely important for pharmacies that are supporting patients with multiple prescriptions and chronic health conditions. It means that pharmacists can therefore spend time where they need to – supporting the health care needs of their patients.”
My Script List was created in partnership between Australia’s two prescription exchange services - eRx Script Exchange and MediSecure - and will be available to all pharmacies across Australia as other dispensing vendors integrate to the MySL. Patients can contact their pharmacist or GP to activate their My Script List.
In the coming month Fred is also set to launch WhatsApp access for patients who have a My Script List. This will increase flexibility in how they order and manage prescriptions from their local pharmacy. Fred is also working with several medication management apps (including MedAdvisor, Medmate and myPharmacyLink) to allow patients to be able to access and view their My Script List.
For further information:
Information and resources on electronic prescriptions for patients and healthcare providers are available on the Australian Digital Health Agency website.