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ePrescribing & SafeScript NSW

ePrescribing

Under the National Health Plan for COVID-19, the Australian Government has accelerated the delivery of electronic prescribing to help protect people most at-risk in our community from exposure to COVID-19.

What you need to know about electronic prescribing

Electronic Prescribing (ePrescribing) provides an option for prescribers and their patients to have an electronic prescription (eScript) as an alternative to a paper-based prescription.

ePrescribing is the process by which a prescription is electronically generated by a prescriber using software which conforms to stringent specifications. Only an authorised prescriber can generate an electronic prescription, which is then securely transmitted to a prescription delivery service. The electronic prescription is then available for dispensing and supply through any dispensing software that conforms to the appropriate requirements.

Electronic prescribing is not mandatory, and patients and prescribers will be able to choose electronic or paper prescriptions.

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has published information on electronic prescribing which explains how the process works and how to prepare your practice. 

What are the benefits of electronic prescribing?

  • Improved patient safety by reducing the risk of transcription errors;
  • Improved practitioner workflow efficiencies by reducing unnecessary paperwork;
  • Choice of prescription format that suits patient preference;
  • Potential for new or alternative digital health services and initiatives into the future;
  • Reduced prescription misuse through increased data available for real-time monitoring; and
  • Support the future of digital health innovation.

Interim arrangements for e-prescribing to support telehealth

Image-based prescribing arrangements implemented at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic ended 31 March 2022, except with hospitals. Image-based prescribing currently only applies to the supply of pharmaceutical benefits for patients treated in public and private hospitals.

Electronic prescribing should not be confused with image-based prescribing. Factsheets on interim arrangements for supply of medicines to support telehealth patients in the community setting are available for prescribers and pharmacists.

Resources

SafeScript NSW - Realtime Prescription Monitoring

SafeScript NSW is a real-time prescription monitoring (RTPM) system which allows prescribers access to their patient’s prescription history for certain high-risk monitored medicines. SafeScript supports prescribers in making safer clinical decisions and reduces the prevalence of unsafe use of monitored medicines.

Prescribers and pharmacists in Nepean Blue Mountains region will have access to SafeScript NSW from late March 2022, as part of a phased statewide rollout. All prescribers (medical practitioners, nurse practitioners and dentists) and pharmacists registered with AHPRA will be eligible to access SafeScript NSW, after they have registered.

NSW Health has launched their new SafeScript NSW website for health professionals with education and training, patient information, resources, and frequently asked questions about SafeScript NSW. To support the rollout of SafeScript NSW, HealthPathways has developed two pathways to help practitioners navigate this new initiative.

Prepare for the use of SafeScript NSW

For more information, visit SafeScript NSW website or email SafeScript NSW