Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It Seems Peace Has Broken Out In E-Prescribing. A Good Thing I Reckon But There Is More To Do.

Lots of news in this area last week:
First we have.

ACCC agreement to boost e-prescribing

14 February, 2013 Nick O'Donoghue
The ACCC is set to authorise an agreement between two competing e-prescription systems that will allow them to talk to each other.
The body issued its draft determination yesterday, following the granting of interim approval for the deal, which will enable the Pharmacy Guild of Australia backed eRx system to “talk” to the MediSecure system.
The Department of Health and Ageing has also supported the move, which is expected to boost electronic prescription use.
Currently, the two systems are the only prescription exchange services in Australia, but their incompatibility to-date, has hampered the growth of e-prescribing, Dr Michael Schaper, ACCC deputy chair said.
More here:
Next we have.

E-scripts boost after software agreement

15 February, 2013 Paul Smith
Peace has broken out in the long-running war between Australia’s two rival e-prescribing software systems raising the prospect of a major boost in e-prescribing.
Over the past fives years, MediSecure system, backed by the RACGP, has been fighting it out with its bitter rival — prescribing system eRx Script Exchange, supported by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
Until this year, the systems did not speak with each other, undermining the hope that e-prescribing would reduce transcription errors.
It led to the situation where a script written by a GP using the MediSecure software could not be dispensed electronically by a pharmacy equipped with eRx.
It also meant GPs using systems different from pharmacists were not sent notifications that scripts had been dispensed.
More here:
Last we have:

Pharmacies lag in using electronic prescriptions

Most pharmacists still manually type original prescriptions into their dispensing software, even though electronic prescriptions are now compatible across nearly all GP and dispensing programs.
From mid- January, Australian GPs and pharmacists have been able to generate and dispense scripts across both electronic prescription exchange services (MediSecure Script Vault and eRx Script Exchange) following an ACCC-approved collaboration between the rival software companies to allow interoperability.
The two companies were allocated over $1.2 million for technical work to ensure the interoperability and will collect an estimated $8 million in transaction fees under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, signed off in 2010.
Electronic prescriptions are still delivered in paper format, but the information is sent directly from the doctor’s computer to a prescription exchange service.
A barcode is printed on the script to allow script data to be downloaded to any pharmacy’s dispensary software, reducing the risk of errors from re-typing.
But while electronic prescribing has been touted as a cornerstone to eHealth in Australia and the technology is now in place, pharmacists are not using a key component – scanning the script’s barcode to access data entered by GPs.
"We’re still seeing that less than five percent of original scripts are downloaded," MediSecure CEO Phillip Shepherd told eHealthspace yesterday.
More here:
We need to be clear here. What has been done, with both of these systems, is that we have printed prescriptions being made to have a common barcode system which the patient then has to take to a pharmacy and then wait for it to be dispensed. We do not have electronic transmission of prescriptions to the pharmacy of the patient’s choice so the medicine can be ready when you arrive to pick it up.
Until we get to this stage - over the nonsensical resistance of the Pharmacy Guild - we really can’t claim to be trying to be user / patient friendly.
Pretty sad really.