- Overall, SafeScript has picked up 7432 patients at increased risk.
- There have been 4348 alerts to doctors and pharmacists about patients visiting multiple general practices and pharmacies.
- Other alerts involve patients taking high doses or a combination of monitored medicines.
- Pharmacist uptake of the system in the Western Victoria PHN is over double that of doctors (79% versus 35%).
- One in two pharmacists and one in seven doctors are active users of SafeScript. They regularly login and are active on the platform.
- Fifteen per cent of doctors and pharmacists Victoria-wide registered for SafeScript so far, with the state-wide launch scheduled for April 2019.
- The growth in registrations is approximately 100 per week.
- SafeScript is recording 12 prescription records of a monitored medicine every minute.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
This Looks Like A Mixed Good News - Bad News Story On Prescription Monitoring.
First the good news:
System alerts pharmacists about thousands of patients at risk
13th February 2019
Victoria’s SafeScript system appears to be proving its value, with pharmacies and doctors receiving alerts about more than 7000 patients at risk in the past four months.
The first phase of the project started in the Western Victorian Primary Health Network (PHN) in October. Initial department of health data provided to the Pharmacy Guild show that:
So we can conclude the system is being used, is working, and gradually improving the usage rates
And the bad news:
Greg Hunt promised an Australia-wide system by the end of 2018, but most states have been slow to come to the table.
The number of deaths from prescription drug misuse now far outstrips the national road toll.
On 3 May last year, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told the Australia Pharmacy Professional Conference that a national real-time monitoring system would be delivered in the coming months.
‘What we see is that there is a real focus now to deliver real-time prescription monitoring by the end of the year,’ he said.
‘We’re funding it for $16 million and only two weeks ago all of the states agreed at the Council of Australian Governments health meeting to sign up to be part of real-time prescription monitoring.’
While the Federal Government’s National Data Exchange (NDE) component – which will receive and distribute dispensing information across all states and territories – rolled out in December 2018, the full system has not met the ambitious timetable.
Bee Mohamed, the chief executive officer of prescription drug misuse advocacy group ScriptWise, has called on the Government to push for a clear timeline at a state level.
‘Things are moving, but not as quickly as they should be,’ she told newsGP.
Ms Mohamed said the matter is becoming more and more urgent, with the numbers of deaths from prescription drug misuse (2177 in 2016) now far outstripping the road toll (1293).
Funding and planning is required from each of the states, coming after a compromise agreement in April last year that allowed states to use different systems as long as they were interoperable with a national system.
A Department of Health spokesman said the NDE was completed on time and made available to all states and territories in December.
‘The Commonwealth is urging all state and territories to integrate with the NDE as soon as possible,’ he said.
‘The Commonwealth is currently working with all states and territories to ensure integration of the NDE with jurisdiction-specific regulatory systems as soon as possible. However, the timeline for implementation within individual jurisdictions is a matter for that state [or] territory.’
A key issue for the states is choosing which software system to implement. The Commonwealth has made its system, the Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD), available to states since 2013.
By contrast, Victoria went it alone to build its own more comprehensive $30 million system, SafeScript, which is now being trialled across western Victoria ahead of a state-wide rollout in April.
Pharmacy software developer Fred IT – which built SafeScript – was also given the contract to build the NDE, which was designed to make state systems interoperable.
But newsGP has learned that an effort to trial a cross-border monitoring system between western Victoria and the southern coast of South Australia was abandoned ahead of the expected national system.
A spokesman for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services said SafeScript had gone live with an initial focus on the Western Victoria PHN catchment.
‘This catchment shares a border with South Australia. This national system is expected to be made available to jurisdictions later this year,’ he said.
A South Australian health spokeswoman said the department is assessing the suitability of available software.
‘SA Health is assessing the suitability of the available real-time prescription monitoring solutions and is committed to implementing a national real-time prescription monitoring solution within three years,’ she said.
Lots more here:
This is all looking very much like a lack of bureaucratic / political will to me. Surely the RACGP should ramp up to lobbying to get some speed-up – as I guess what this article is about.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, February 20, 2019