The world has changed dramatically in 2020, with social distancing and contactless supply of goods and services become the new norm. We’ve seen this particularly in the medical field, with telehealth appointments happening every day. The Covid-19 has put many vulnerable patients at significant risk, but everybody still needs their medications. As such, the Australian government has fast-tracked the introduction of ePrescribing. If your practice management system doesn’t support this new initiative, it may be time to consider upgrading.

Here’s all you need to know about ePrescribing, and how it’s changing the way general practices operate on a daily basis.

What is ePrescribing?

ePrescribing is a government initiative designed to support people receiving contactless delivery of the medications they need. Not only does it help considerably in environments such as a global pandemic, but it also supports the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to be more efficient.

General practitioners are now able to issue prescriptions electronically, allowing patients to claim medicines without a paper form. Patients can still choose their pharmacy and medical professionals, but ePrescribing makes the whole process easier and more efficient. The benefits include:

  • Greater choice for patients
  • Prescribing and dispensing medicine is more efficient
  • Reduction of prescription and dispensing errors
  • No handling and storing paper prescriptions
  • Supports digital health services such as telehealth
  • Protects community members and health care providers from exposure to infectious diseases (for example, COVID-19)
  • Maintains patient privacy and integrity of personal information.

While ePrescribing is a great option for many community members and practitioners, paper prescriptions will still be available.

How does ePrescribing work?

In the world of telehealth services and contact delivery, eScripts are a fantastic solution – as long as your practice management system supports it. Here’s an example of how ePrescribing may work in general practice.

  1. Patient books a telehealth appointment so they don’t need to attend the practice.
  2. Telehealth appointment takes place, and if medication is required, the doctor can use their practice management system to electronically prescribe.
  3. The patient receives their script via SMS.
  4. Patient contacts their preferred pharmacy, provides their eScript details and asks for the medication to be delivered.
  5. The chosen pharmacy dispenses the medication and it is delivered to the patient’s home.

While every situation is different, for example a patient may still choose to attend the local pharmacy to collect their medication, the example above shows how medical care and medicines can be provided in a completely contact-free environment.

Ensure your practice management software supports ePrescribing

For practice managers, ensuring your technology is up to date goes a long way to making ePrescribing a success. While the Government is working to ensure all practices are compliant with privacy and other legislation, you can fast-track adoption of ePrescribing with a quality practice management system.

If you already use practice management software, we recommend contacting your provider because they should already have been briefed and trained by the government regarding all relevant legislation and processes. Upgrade your systems today, and make the entire medication prescription process a whole lot easier.