E-scripts roll out in Sydney

The modus operandi in pharmacy is changing, with Sydney pharmacists facing the roll out of electronic prescriptions throughout the city according to the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA).

This follows on the heels of e-prescriptions being rolled out across all of Victoria in September.

Patients can decide whether they’d like an e-script sent straight to their phone via SMS or email or paper prescription.

Their GP then selects this option in their software when creating the prescription, and the patient will immediately receive an SMS or email.

The SMS or email contains a QR code, which can be scanned at any pharmacy to unlock a secure, encrypted prescription.

“There has been significant uptake of e-prescriptions since they were first made available in May; since then, nearly 400,000 e-prescriptions have been received by patients,” says Amanda Cattermole, CEO of AHDA.

A webinar hosted by Fred IT Group highlights that the volume of e-prescriptions being written in the country is increasing exponentially.

“The volume of prescriptions – it was about 26,000 in August, about 170,000 in September, and the growth even in just this first week or so of October has been more than 70,000 in the week,” says Andrew Matthews, Director of the Medicines Safety Program at the AHDA.

To prepare for e-prescriptions, more than 13,000 healthcare providers have attended online training and education sessions run by the Agency.

Further support and advice have been provided by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

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