Digital health first in Hedland ‘Community of Excellence’


Pharmacy 777 in Port Hedland has dispensed the first e-script in the Hedland, one of ADHA’s three Communities of Excellence regions nationally

This month, Pharmacy 777 Port Hedland dispensed the first electronic prescription in the region. Port Hedland is the second largest town in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, located approximately 1,800km north of Perth and home to around 16,000 people.

Hedland is one of three regions selected in the Australian Digital Health Agency’s (ADHA) Communities of Excellence initiative, together with the central Queensland town of Emerald and East Arnhem in the Northern Territory.

The initiative’s aim is to embed digital health capabilities across targeted communities, chosen for their population size, strong local clinical and digital leadership as well as community support.

“We helped roll out the My Health Record system in Port Hedland and we’re now very excited to bring our town into the digital health future to be among the first pharmacies in Western Australia to process an e-prescription,” said Lee Ross, Pharmacist at Pharmacy 777 Port Hedland.

“Our first e-script was prescribed to the patient via a telehealth consultation with a Perth-based medical centre and dispensed using our Corum Health LOTS dispense software, so really shows the full scope of the digital health service providing further medical support to our community.”

Mr Ross said the use of e-prescriptions will change the way the pharmacy can support its patients with alternative options for fulfilling prescriptions.

In a transient town like Port Hedland, we have many travellers and FIFO workers that are away from home.

“Being able to access their prescriptions when and where they need will be a change for the better,” he said.

“In reducing the amount of back and forth between patients’ home pharmacies and GP clinics, the process will be so much more streamlined.”

Kim Brotherson, Pharmacy 777 Managing Director said it was exciting to see advancements unfold in pharmacy digital health capabilities, especially for regional area health care networks.

“The Pilbara’s working travellers including shipping and FIFO workers, may not have contact with their regular GP,” said Mr Brotherson.

“Health technology such as telehealth, My Health Record and electronic prescriptions now allow these patients to have the ability to receive remote access to care. Providing wider accessibility to care for patients, certainly means improved health outcomes for the community.”

Julian Sallabank, Managing Director of Corum Group, added: “In a digitally capable world, a piece of paper should not determine the quality of your health care, nor dictate where or how you receive it.

“We have been very pleased with how all stakeholders have worked together to achieve this significant milestone, and in Hedland, it is terrific to see the results of our hard work positively impact the workflow efficiencies of pharmacists and the lives of their patients.”

Bettina McMahon, Interim CEO of the ADHA said the e-script was an “important milestone”.

“This initial step will help us learn about the experience of GPs, pharmacists and consumers using electronic prescriptions, and will help us make electronic prescriptions available to all Australians in the future.

“E–prescribing is a key component of the larger suite of digital health initiatives that can break down barriers to quality healthcare for all, regardless of where they live or whether they are receiving health services face to face or via telehealth.

“We are delighted to see this capability in action and congratulate those involved in bringing it to the Hedland community.”

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