What is electronic prescribing in Australia?
Electronic prescribing is providing Australians with convenient access to their medicines. It will improve patient safety by reducing the risk of transcription errors.
How does electronic prescribing work?
A patient attends the doctor and requires a prescription.
If the patient chooses, an electronic prescription is provided.
The patient receives an SMS or email message with a token from their doctor which they provide to their preferred pharmacy.
The pharmacy scans the token to view the electronic prescription and supply the medicine.
How are repeats managed?
If the prescription has repeats, then a new token is provided to the patient via SMS or email by the pharmacy.
The patient will always have the choice to get their next repeat dispensed at a different pharmacy. All they’ll need to do is present the new token when more medicine is needed.
Do regulations vary by state and territory?
The same regulations for prescribing and supplying medicines exist for both paper and electronic prescriptions. Clinicians are required to adhere to the National Health Act and relevant state or territory regulations when prescribing and supplying medicines using an electronic prescription. This is particularly important for controlled medicines. Please contact your relevant jurisdiction for more information.
Safeguards are in place to prevent patients using their token at multiple pharmacies.
The token itself is not the prescription; however, it is evidence of a prescription. Once the token is scanned and used by a pharmacy to dispense the medicine, it is invalid and cannot be reused. The prescription delivery service will lock a prescription as soon as it is accessed, so no other pharmacy can dispense it at the same time.