Electronic prescribing has long been identified as a goal to improve efficiency and safety in the health system. Over the past few years, progress has focused on developing the standards necessary to enable the smooth transfer of medicines information between GP and pharmacy systems. Once fully implemented this service will:
- allow a script to be electronically sent by a prescriber’s system to a transaction broker
- provide the patient with a signed, barcoded paper prescription
- allow a pharmacist to electronically download a prescription from the transaction broker, automatically populate their system with the details, verify the request and dispense against it
- send status updates to the prescriber, if requested, when the prescription is picked up
- send the prescribing and dispensing transactions to a regional clinical data repository as appropriate
- allow pharmacy-generated prescriptions to be electronically sent to prescribers where this is required
- allow a precriber to cancel a prescription.
Following an 18-month trial, the national Medication Programme Steering Group agreed in late 2012 that the service needs to move to progressive roll-out. This will include Simpl, who host the broking service, My Practice, HealthSoft (LOTS), Houston and Intrahealth who have all completed end-to-end testing. Toniq is currently completing development and initial testing, with a view to deploying to its sites early in the next quarter. Work will include other vendors in the program once their development and testing is completed.
We worked with vendors and the National Health IT Board to have the service in the implementation phase in mid 2013.