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Friday, August 14, 2015

For Those Who Are Wondering Whether e-Health Applications That Work Actually Get Used. Answer: They Do!

This appeared a few days ago.

eRx fills its billionth script

Australia has achieved a major milestone in patient safety, reaching one billion prescriptions dispensed electronically through eRx.

Electronic transfer of prescriptions improves patient safety by increasing confidence that the correct medications are being dispensed while also making dispensing faster.
Electronic prescribing brings important safety gains as a result of the fact that prescription information, including patient and medication data, can be shared safely and securely between GPs and pharmacists.
As a result, pharmacists no longer have to re-type medications or patient information, which makes dispensing faster whilst also increasing GP confidence that the correct medications are being dispensed.
The one billion electronic scripts have been dispensed via eRx Script Exchange, Australia’s first and largest national prescriptions exchange. Since its launch in 2009, 89% (4,714) of Australia’s pharmacies and 76% (19,930) of Australia’s GPs have connected to and are using the exchange.
“Exceeding one billion electronic dispensing records is real cause for celebration for Australian patients, their doctors and pharmacists,” says Paul Naismith, pharmacist and CEO of Fred IT Group.
“Electronic prescribing and dispensing are two of the most fundamental ways of adding efficiencies in the medication supply process whilst also improving safeguards against potential dispensing issues.
“Pharmacy customers are the winners here as a result of having had one billion scripts dispensed with a greater guarantee of safety.
“The achievement of creating an Australia-wide electronic script network is a direct result of the significant support behind the scenes.
“This has included cooperation across pharmacy and medical professions, industry groups, IT companies and government.
“The majority of pharmacies have also told us that funding support, such as the recent continuation of electronic script funding under the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement, is critical for the ongoing success of electronic prescribing.”
In our 2015 eRx survey of pharmacists:
  • 74% of pharmacies said that government funding under the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement was very important to their ongoing use of electronic scripts;
  • 74% of pharmacists also told us that they find eRx extremely valuable; and
  • 46% said that dispensing efficiency was the major motivation for using eRx.
Mr Naismith says, “We are firmly focused on improving and building on the achievement that is already in place.
More here:
This is good news and shows that e-Health that is useful will actually get used. That the PCEHR has not been enthusiastically adopted suggests that it might not be quite as useful for those involved, as it might be.
The connection and usage rate by GPs is quite impressive.
That certainly would be my view.


Oliver Frank said...

Yesterday I was talking to a pharmacist about some details of the dispensing process for prescriptions that carry a bar code generated either by MediSecure or eRx. He told me that the dispensing system compares the bar code on the packet of medicine that is about to be dispensed with the details on the prescription that has been entered by scanning the bar code on it. Apparently the system emits the same beep whether the medicine to be dispensed matches the prescription or not. The pharmacist said that it is common if not usual for busy dispensing staff not to be looking at the screen while they are doing this, and that they therefore may fail to see the on screen warning that the medicine does not match the prescription.
I guess that one obvious answer to this may be to have the system emit a different sound when there is a mismatch.
This is probably not an issue for eRx or Medisecure, but rather for the vendors of the dispensing systems to address.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

There is a good chance that the beep is from the bar code reader and that it means "the bar code has been successfully read".

The bar code reader does not interpret the code, that is up some other part of the system which may or may not have the capacity to make noises. Even it it does, there will most likely be two sounds, one saying that the bar code has been read, the second one indicating if there is a match or not.

Lots of potentially confusing noises, possibly occurring at the same time.