‘Age is no barrier.’

Eastern Melbourne has seen an e-prescribing trial take off between a local general practice and a local pharmacy

The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked the health sector’s uptake of electronic prescribing, explains the Eastern Melbourne PHN in its 2019-20 Annual Report.

The Australian Digital Health Agency’s (ADHA) established a ‘Community of Interest’ in EMPHN’s catchment to trial e-prescribing between a local general practice and their patients, and a local pharmacy,

It is reportedly one of 30 trial sites across Australia.

EMPHN says it has supported end-to-end testing between Amcal Pharmacy Tooronga and Mediscreen Clinic in Hawthorn East as part of this particular community of interest.

This process involves the generation of the electronic prescription by a GP, provision of its associated token digitally to a consumer, supply of medicines via a pharmacy and subsequent PBS claim.

“The patients have been very receptive and embraced the technology,” said Andrew Robinson, pharmacist at Amcal Pharmacy Tooronga, about the process.

“Age is no barrier. The majority of the shared regular patients we have with Mediscreen are older, and they have taken it in their stride.”

EMPHN’s goal over the past financial year was to “support the adoption of e-prescribing accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated government mandated travel restrictions”.

“E-prescribing provides a secure method for the transmission of prescription information between prescribers and dispensers, while reducing the likelihood of transcription related dispense errors,” said the PHN in its annual report.

EMPHN has also hosted several e-prescribing webinars to educate both general practitioners as prescribers, and pharmacists as dispensers.

Anglesea in Victoria was the first area in Australia to implement e-prescribing, with Australia’s first electronic prescription in primary care successfully prescribed at Anglesea Medical and dispensed at Anglesea Pharmacy on 6 May 2020.

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