Why a unified approach to ePrescribing roll-outs is so crucial
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Why a unified approach to ePrescribing roll-outs is so crucial

We’ve been hearing a lot about ePrescribing over the last few weeks, as the healthcare industry races to get its platforms up-to-date before the start of the roll-out in mid-May.

When the legislation changes were introduced in November last year, it was intended that ePrescribing would be rolled out slowly over the course of 2020. However, due to COVID-19, ePrescribing has been fast-tracked through a $5 million government program. As a result, many clinical software providers, including MedicalDirector, have shifted focus to enable their systems for ePrescribing as quickly as possible.

The importance of getting it right

While ePrescribing offers immense benefits for GPs, pharmacists and patients — especially with the current COVID-19 crisis and growing uptake of Telehealth — it’s important that software providers take the time to ensure their solution is well executed and seamless. Here’s why:

It’s important that there is a clear set of processes and requirements for all states and territories if our ePrescribing systems are going to be accessible to all. If the states can take a unified approach to ePrescribing legislation, we can hope to roll out the system to all states at the same time, otherwise some may have to wait until later. We’re doing our best to ensure all patients across Australia can take equal advantage of the new system and nobody is excluded.

Queensland and South Australia don’t yet have ePrescribing legislation in place. This makes it illegal for GPs to prescribe medicines electronically in those states.

Pharmacy systems need to be ready to dispense electronic scripts as soon as GPs start writing them. We’ve been advised that some of the key players in pharmacy software are still putting systems in place for the roll-out of ePrescribing and as a major player in this industry, we have a responsibility to make sure the entire system works without creating disruption in such an important area of patient care. Our aim is to protect GPs, patients and Pharmacists from the potential confusion and additional administration that’s likely to occur if a script needs to be re-processed because a pharmacy can’t accept it electronically.

Acting responsibly to support you better

There’s no doubt that ePrescribing will be highly beneficial for patients, practitioners and pharmacies alike, but it needs to be implemented properly otherwise it will just create more work. At MedicalDirector, we believe the most responsible thing for software providers to do is roll out ePrescribing in tandem with the rest of the industry and all the Australian states. This is the only way we can ensure all aspects of the system will be supported, the user process will be seamless, and we can enable ideal healthcare.

MedicalDirector will be rolling out ePrescribing in accordance with the Australian Digital Health Agency’s timelines, and in conjunction with Government-recommended changes to pharmacy software to support and complement ePrescribing across the industry. When released, ePrescribing will be immediately available for all our practices using MedicalDirector Helix. Practices using MedicalDirector Clinical will need to install a patch.