Pharmacy eHealth specialist scores big project

Fred IT Group has been selected to build Victoria’s prescription monitoring system, SafeScript, for its launch next year

Following the passage of legislation through Parliament last month, SafeScript is expected to be up and running throughout the state by the end of next year.

Real-time prescription monitoring will play a key role in reducing the growing harms from prescription medicine misuse, says the government.

“Too many Victorians have died from the misuse of prescription medicines. This is an avoidable tragedy and that’s why we’re getting SafeScript done to fix it,” says Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.

“We are partnering with Fred IT Group so we can get the best technology for Victorians. SafeScript will save lives.”

SafeScript will be built using advanced technology, according to the Victorian government.

“The system will be designed to be as quick and easy for clinicians to use as possible, with patient care the key focus,” it says.

“It will leverage electronic Prescription Exchange Services to obtain prescription data for the system.

“This currently supports the electronic transfer of prescriptions between doctors and pharmacists when medication is dispensed to patients.”

“As pharmacists and health professionals, we see how many people in the community are negatively affected by the misuse of prescription medicine,” says Paul Naismith, pharmacist and CEO of Fred IT Group.

“As a company, we are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work with the Victorian Government on reducing the devastating impact of medications misuse.”

Fred IT Group also celebrated its 25th birthday this month.

“We launched Fred in 1992 based on the belief that better IT could enable pharmacists to spend more time with their patients,” says Mr Naismith.

“We invested in a national backbone for the exchange of prescriptions so that health professionals would have access to secure, up-to-date medications data, and I am proud that with SafeScript we are able to build on that backbone in a way that will make a real difference to the community.”

The Victorian Government has invested $29.5 million to implement SafeScript, including comprehensive training and support for health practitioners across Victoria.

SafeScript will monitor all Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone – which carry the highest risk of misuse – and other high-risk medicines, including all benzodiazepines such as diazepam.

Last year, 372 Victorians died from an overdose of prescription medicines. More people in Victoria have lost their lives from the misuse of prescription medicines than the road toll for five years in a row.

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