The life-saving role of clinical tools in reducing risk for vulnerable Australians was acknowledged last week, with Victoria’s SafeScript real-time prescription monitoring winning a national award for innovation and excellence
The Fred IT Group, which developed and rolled out the IT for SafeScript, congratulated the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services for winning the Australian Information Industry Association iAward in the category of Infrastructure & Platforms Innovation of the Year for the program.
SafeScript was initially piloted in Western Victoria from October 2018, and was then rolled out across the state in April this year.
Since the pilot began, clinicians have received clinical risk alerts relating to more than 57,000 Victorians.
Paul Naismith, pharmacist and CEO of Fred, said that, “As pharmacists, we continue to see the devastating toll that occurs in the community as a result of the misuse of prescription medications.
“Tragically, with last week’s release of the Australian Overdose Report, we know that the number of deaths occurring through accidental overdose continues to grow.
“We applaud the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services for taking leadership on this vital issue. We can already see the evidence in terms of how many people SafeScript is helping – 57,000 Victorians in nine months in Victoria alone.
“It is gratifying to see SafeScript being recognised for its role in reducing clinical risk for vulnerable Victorians and, now through the national data exchange, available to all Australians.
“We urge other states and territories to follow Victoria’s lead and act to provide clinicians with access to life-saving real-time prescription monitoring as soon as possible so that we can help to prevent unnecessary deaths occurring across State and Territory borders.”
The Penington Institute released its national report, the Australian Overdose Report, on 26 August.
The report found that the rate of accidental overdose has continued to grow, with 1612 deaths were reported as a result of accidental overdose in 2017.
According to Fred’s joint venture partner, Telstra Health, Managing Director, Mary Foley, “SafeScript is one of Fred’s and Telstra Health’s great successes, partnering with governments, clinicians and pharmacists to reduce the incidence of opioid and other controlled substance abuse, preventing avoidable deaths.”
SafeScript provides real-time monitoring of Schedule 8 medications and other high-risk medications, such as morphine and oxycodone, which carry the highest risk of misuse, and other high-risk medicines, including all benzodiazepines.