Real-time monitoring on track


pharmacist computer laptop technology digital my health record

SafeScript is on track to be rolled out in October, however according to reports NSW is lagging a fair way behind

SafeScript, Victoria’s real-time prescription monitoring system, is still on track for implementation in October 2018.

To be developed by Fred IT Group, roll-out will reportedly be focused in a specific geographical location before being extended to the rest of the state in early 2019.

SafeScript will capture prescription records for all Schedule 8 medicines and Schedule 4 benzodiazepines, z-drugs and quetiapine.

After an 18-month introductory period, it will be mandatory for doctors and pharmacists in Victoria to check SafeScript when writing or dispensing a prescription for any of these medicines.

This means “pharmacists and prescribers can adjust their practice change to take on board what this new tool means for them,” explains President of the Victorian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild, Anthony Tassone.

“Then from around 2020 onwards there will be more substances or medicines that will be monitored … and it will be mandatory by then.

“It is really important that we have a system that is mandatory for doctors and pharmacists to use, because the best point of intervention is at the point of prescribing from the doctors’ perspective,” Mr Tassone says.

“This tool will save lives. There’s more people that die from prescription medicine overdose than road toll each year, so [pharmacists] are really interested in what this tool can mean for them, especially because they saw the great utility of MedsASSIST when we had low-dose codeine available over the counter.

“They saw the difference it can make with their interactions with patients from a quality use of medicines and harm minimisation perspective.”

Last month, all state and territory Health Ministers committed to achieving a national solution on real time prescription monitoring.

There is already a real-time monitoring system in place in Tasmania called DORA.

However according to a current inquest into opiate deaths at NSW Coroners Court, NSW health authorities have no timeline for the introduction of a real-time prescription monitoring service.

NSW Chief Pharmacist Dr Judith Mackson told Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame that despite government commitments to rolling out the service, the system was still far from being realised, Fairfax reports.

Dr Mackson also said NSW would wait for the federal government before it implemented its system, citing logistical difficulties.

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