How does electronic prescribing work?
An electronic prescription is created from within the prescriber's clinical information system such as Medical Director or Best Practice. The script is then sent to the Prescription Delivery Service (PDS).
Prescribers can elect to print out a paper script if an individuals’ preferred local pharmacy is not ready for electronic prescriptions.
Benefits for healthcare providers
- enhanced patient safety by reducing the risk of transcription errors
- improved efficiency in prescribing and dispensing medicines
- increases access to patient prescription records
- increases patient choice and convenience
- supports telehealth consultations
- removes the need for handling and storing physical paper prescriptions.
Get ready now for electronic prescriptions
Step 1. Connect to the Healthcare Identifiers Service (HI Service)
Your organisation obtains a Healthcare Provider Identifier – Organisation (HPI-O) by connecting to the HI Service.
Step 2. Have a current NASH Certificate
A current National Authentication Service for Health (NASH) PKI certificate can be downloaded via PRODA/HPOS. If your organisation can access My Health Record, you have a current NASH PKI Certificate. NASH certificates are valid for two (2) years.
Step 3. Register with a Prescription Delivery Service (PDS)
Register the organisation and each individual prescriber with a Prescription Delivery Service (PDS) or previously known as Prescription Exchange Service. The PDS securely stores and transfers prescription information electronically.
There are two main providers:
Step 4. Install latest version of clinical software that enables electronic prescriptions
Call your software vendor for guidance and support installing the latest version of clinical software with electronic prescription capability.
Step 5. Start updating individual contact details
Ensure your customer email addresses and mobile phone numbers are kept up to date in your clinical software.
Step 6. Access the Australian Digital Health Agency’s resources
Access the Australian Digital Health Agency resources to support providers access electronic prescriptions.
You will need the below username and password:
Username: GP or Pharmacy or Specialist
Prescription delivery services
There are two prescription delivery services (PDS). The two services are interoperable, meaning prescription information sent using one PDS service can be downloaded by a pharmacy connected to the other PDS.
Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions
Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (ETP) involves the creation of an electronic message alongside the paper prescription, which is transmitted to a Prescription Delivery Service (PDS). At the time of prescribing, a barcode is generated and printed on a paper prescription. A pharmacy then dispenses the prescription by scanning the barcode which downloads the prescription information from the PDS.
Benefits for health care providers
- reduces the likelihood of transcription related dispensing errors
- assists in meeting the Practice Incentives Program eHealth Incentive (ePIP) requirements
- enables upload of prescription and dispense records to My Health Record
- supports the technical requirements for electronic prescriptions
- improves quality and efficiency of both prescribing and dispense processes
- improves communication between prescribers and dispensers.