Q&A: Dispensing e-prescriptions


A roundup of commonly asked questions answered by Fred IT Group

More than 2,000 customers attended a webinar on dispensing ePrescriptions run by Fred IT Group last month, which received close to 500 questions during the event.

The organisation has answered most of these after summarising them into key themes. Here is a selection of Q&As below:

What happens with ePrescriptions if the internet is down?

If the internet is unavailable, it will be up the pharmacy to dispense under emergency supply provisions and/or by contacting the prescriber to request a paper prescription.

There has been the suggestion that manually entering the barcode will bypass the process and provide access to the ePrescription. This is not that case as typing in the barcode is the same as scanning the barcode.

Do ePrescriptions change the way we deal with Drugs of Dependency and Schedule 8 drugs?

The introduction of ePrescriptions does not significantly change the way pharmacies handle Drugs of Dependency (DDs).

DD “duplicates” or records of the script will be stored electronically in the Prescription Delivery Service Exchange (eRx or MediSecure), rather than as paper copies. Inspectors will be able to view your electronic records alongside your paper DD duplicates for audit purposes.

It will no longer be possible to handwrite on the ePrescription so this requirement will be addressed by the ability to annotate the ePrescription and repeats (via the prescribing and dispensing systems) when they are prescribed and dispensed.

It remains the responsibility of the pharmacist to ensure they are fully aware of the jurisdiction specific regulations regarding DDs.

How is the Active Script List different to the Token model?

The Active Script List (ASL) is an optional extension to provide an enhanced patient experience. As with the token model, the ASL relies on conformant electronic prescription messages instead of paper prescriptions.

The key difference between the ASL and the Token model is that if a patient registers for the ASL they no longer require a token to access their prescriptions.

The ASL enables patients to provide relevant pharmacies, doctors and third-party intermediaries of their choice with access to their personal list of active scripts for dispensing. This access is revocable but may otherwise be ongoing or temporary depending on the access granted by the patient to each viewing party.

It is important to note that this is purely a list of the patient’s active scripts for future dispensing and not their full medication profile. Once access is granted, a pharmacy may dispense the items requested by the patient and doctors and third-party intermediaries may view the list.

Once a patient has submitted an ePrescription to their pharmacy for dispensing, can they cancel that request?

Should a patient wish to cancel the order sent to the pharmacy, the patient would be required to contact the pharmacy directly and request the order be deleted from their MedView Flow queue.

Once the pharmacy has commenced or completed the dispense of the ePrescription, the legal ePrescription has been pulled down from the PDS (eRx or MediSecure) and locked to ensure it cannot be dispensed a second time.

Should the patient wish to cancel that order, the pharmacist will cancel the dispense in their dispensing system which will reactivate the ePrescription in the PDS (eRx or MediSecure) and re-issue the token to the patient.

Under the ASL model, cancellation of the order will result in the ePrescription being added back to the patient’s ASL.

Can ePrescriptions be cancelled to remove from the Prescription Delivery Services (eRx and MediSecure)?

ePrescriptions can be cancelled by the original prescriber only. The prescriber can perform the cancellation through their prescribing software which will result in the cancellation being reflected in the Prescription Delivery Service (eRx or MediSecure).

How does the pharmacy scan check with e-prescriptions?

Scan checking is performed the same way with e-prescriptions, as it is with a paper prescription. The introduction of ePrescriptions is simple a way of injecting the prescription data into the pharmacy dispensing software, which continues to be used to dispense the prescription.

See the full list of Q&As here and here. You can also read AJP’s articles on the webinar here and here.

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