National launch of the active script list database is expected “soon” potentially overcoming need to SMS patients
Experts are anticipating the full national availability of the new Active Script List program this year, as the next step in the evolution of Australia’s e-prescription program.
Active Script List (ASL) is a list of all active prescriptions and repeats available to be dispensed for a patient. It is a pharmacy-assisted service for accessing patient e-prescriptions for the supply of medicines.
Speaking at the E-medication management Conference in Sydney this week, Andrew Matthews, Director, Medicines Safety Program – Strategic Programs & Workplan Development, Australian Digital Health Authority (ADHA) said the list had been trialled at 10 sites with 280 patients.
The patient can register for the list and can set options for which health professionals they wish to see or access this information.
“Pharmacy is the conduit through which a patient will manage their ASL, with pharmacy’s role including offering assisted registration for patients,” he said.
Mr Matthews said an example of how the system could work is if a patient is on holiday and needed to obtain a repeat prescription.
“They could elect to allow a pharmacy that is not their regular pharmacy to access their ASL information for one or two days so their prescription could be dispensed,” he said.
“After that date, the nominated pharmacy would no longer be able to access this information.”
The dispensing pharmacy “can access an electronic prescription for a patient from an ASL following proof of identity,” he said.
The patient also has the capacity to instruct a prescriber to withhold scripts from the ASL.
One advantage of the system was that it removed the need for the patient to receive their tokens via SMS or email and retain their tokens, Mr Matthews said.
ADHA data indicated that currently around 85% of e-prescriptions are sent via SMS, he added.
There were concerns expressed by pharmacists about the impact on workflows, which he believed had been addressed during testing on its integrating into day to day practice.
Full system functionality should be achieved “soon”, Mr Matthews said, while the privacy framework was also being finalised “at the moment”.
He also noted there are currently three apps (MedAdvisor, Medmate and GuildLink) that are conformant for ePrescribing and offering a token management solution.
Meanwhile, Mr Matthews signalled that just over five million electronic prescriptions had been dispensed around Australia.
“Our data shows that nearly all pharmacies had transacted at least one… although I had been told by GPs that there were still the odd regional pharmacy not set up for electronic prescribing.’