Sunday, June 25, 2017
I Believe They Are Getting A Little Ahead Of Themselves With This One. Needs A Bit More Planning.
This article appeared a day or so ago.
| 23 June, 2017
A call to phase out paper-based prescriptions has been backed by one of the RACGP's e-Health experts.
Integrated electronic prescriptions should become mandatory for “any prescriber of a PBS-listed medicine, any pharmacist wishing to dispense a PBS-listed medicine”, according to a Federal Government review of the pharmacy industry.
In its interim report, released on Thursday, the review says the current paper-based system is outdated and inconvenient, and increases the risk of adverse medical events.
Instead, paper prescriptions should no longer be the "version of record", and pharmacists should be able to retrieve the electronic prescription without sighting a paper version.
Dr Oliver Frank, a member of the RACGP expert committee for e-Health and Practice Systems, says many GPs are uploading electronic prescriptions to exchange software such as eRx or MediSecure already.
“If it makes the system better and saves paper, do it."
He says the only difference in moving to a completely paperless system would be to the legal significance of the paper prescription.
At the moment, pharmacists must still scan a paper barcode to access the electronic prescription, which downloads the prescription information to the pharmacist’s dispensing software.
The full article is found here:
Now it is hard to suggest that in principle this is not a great idea. A lot of paper does get shuffled around and much of that is surely un-necessary.
There are however a few practicalities around issues like needing access to a computer system at difficult moments such a home visits at 3 a.m. and so on. There are also security issues that would need careful review if ‘on the move’ prescribing was to be agreed.
However the real issue is going to be to have the pharmacists be confident the doctor can’t direct a script to a particular pharmacy – so called ‘script-channeling’. The way this is prevented at present is by handing the paper script to the patient – and having the patient decide where to take it for dispensing. The paper has a barcode which allows the pharmacist to access a script exchange to avoid typing and to provide accuracy.
The parallel system we have now seems to be the way to keep pharmacists happy while ensuring accuracy, ease of use etc.
Frankly I would like the doc to be able to ask the patient where they want to pick up the medicine and then to have the script go there with no paper. It can also be ready as soon as you go to pick it up – as in the USA. Great idea but the pharmacists hate it – and they are a powerful lobby!
I suspect the present system works well enough to ensure that change will be very slow to come!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Sunday, June 25, 2017