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Electronic prescribing update 2021

Ms Angela Parker:
 
Welcome everybody, you are joining us for another session from the RACGP’s Practice Essentials Webinar Series. This webinar is our electronic prescribing update for 2021.
 
My name is Angela Parker and I am a Project Officer from the RACGP’s Practice Technology and Management team. I'll be your host for today's presentation.
 
I'm joined by Dr David Adam; a GP based in Western Australia who will be taking you through today's update. David is a general practitioner and hospice doctor in the eastern suburbs of Perth. He is a member of the Practice Technology and Management RACGP Expert Committee and represented the RACGP on the electronic prescribing working groups.
 
David, welcome to the webinar.
 
Dr David Adam:
 
Thanks for having me.
 
Ms Angela Parker:
 
Thanks David, and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to participate in this presentation.
 
Before we begin our webinar, I'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands from where each of us is joining this webinar, and I wish to pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
 
This activity is delivered by the RACGP in partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency.
 
This is an on-demand webinar. You can pause, rewind or fast forward at any point. If you need to stop, you can close the webinar and return at a later time.
 
This education activity is accredited for two points under the RACGP’s 2020-22 CPD triennium which you can quick log from the RACGP website where you accessed this webinar. To collect these points, you'll need to watch the whole webinar.
 
All resources referred to in this webinar have been collated in a webinar resources pack, which is also linked on the RACGP website where you accessed the webinar.
 
If, after the webinar, you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the team by email at ehealth@racgp.org.au.
 
Now, I'd like to hand over to David to begin the presentation. Thank you, David.
 
Dr David Adam:
 
All right, thank you Angela.
 
So, what we're going to be talking about today, and hopefully what you'll be able to be pretty clear on by the end of the session is about how electronic prescribing works for you as a prescriber - both under the token and active script list - and also to just talk about the benefits and limitations of electronic prescribing in Australia, as it stands at the moment.
 
We would also like you to be able to explain how electronic prescriptions work for your patients, because many of them will have questions for you and we're also going to cover how to implement electronic prescribing in your practice.
 
This is the brief agenda of what we're going to cover to go through those learning outcomes.
 
You will hear the terms electronic prescriptions and ePrescriptions, and electronic prescribing and ePrescribing interchangeably. Electronic prescriptions is the formal term but many people are using the word ePrescribing, so you'll hear us use that a little bit as well.
 
So, what is electronic prescribing?
 
Electronic prescribing allows for medicines that we use every day to be prescribed and dispensed without the need for a paper prescription. The idea of this is to improve efficiency and also medicine safety.
 
Electronic prescribing is an initiative of the National Health Plan, and although it has been worked on for some time, the delivery was really fast-tracked in 2020 as part of the COVID-19 National Health Plan, partly to support telehealth consultations and to help protect patients and healthcare providers from the infection by removing the need for patients to attend their general practice in person to get a prescription.
 
The good news is that electronic prescribing doesn't require a huge change to the way that we prescribe and it's certainly not mandatory. Patients will ultimately get to choose what form of prescription they receive, as long as you can offer both paper and electronic prescriptions.
 
So that provides convenience and choice for patients, helps to improve medicines compliance and drug safety, reducing transcription errors issues with legibility and loss of prescriptions.
 
It's important to note, however, that patients need to choose either an electronic prescription or a paper prescription; you can't have both under PBS rules so you can’t have the same drug issued as a paper prescription as a backup to the electronic prescription. So if you've got both of those, that's two prescriptions and, as you'll be aware of the PBS rules, they can only have one of those dispensed as a PBS prescription.
 
A patient also can't, for example, choose an electronic prescription, to start with, and then, when they get the repeats want to go back to pay for prescribing so they must stick to one form of prescription for all the remaining repeats as well.
 
But the good news is that electronic prescribing is really now widespread and available in most parts of Australia. The majority of Australians should now have the choice of an electronic prescription instead of a paper prescription.
 
Before commencing with electronic prescribing, however, I think it's worth communicating to your local pharmacy to ensure that they are ready to dispense electronic prescriptions.
 
97% of PBS approved community pharmacies are dispensing electronic prescriptions, but there's still a few out there, I know for us we've got two pharmacies nearby and only one of them is supporting electronic prescriptions at this time.
 
If you've listened to any of these webinars before or you're familiar with electronic prescribing, you'll have almost certainly heard about electronic prescription tokens and we're going to talk to you a little bit today about the tokens and also the Active Script List, which is the new functionality that's now rolling out across Australia.
 
I guess the good news is that these things are not mutually exclusive, you can have a combination of a token and script in your Active Script List and we're going to talk about these functionalities individually.
 
If you're doing electronic prescribing already, you'll be familiar with electronic prescription tokens, and this is basically where what we do is we enable patients to choose to receive their prescription by SMS or by email or by other electronic means and what that comes up as is a form of a link to a unique QR code which we talk about as the token.
 
So instead of getting a piece of paper, they'll get an SMS or an email (they'll get one for each medicine prescribed) and we can actually turn these into things you can print out and give to the pharmacy if you really want to, although that's a little bit roundabout.
 
I think it's important to remember that that token/QR code isn't the prescription. It's not got the patience full information on it, because if it gets sent to the wrong place, we want to protect their privacy so it's usually only got a little bit of information about; the patient's initials, the medicine name, the dose and the quantity and the date prescribed and the number of repeats remaining. So you won't see the patient's full name and you won't see the doctor’s full name either, so it's not a legal prescription, but it's scanned by the pharmacy to unlock the electronic prescription from the secure electronic prescription delivery service. So you'll have the eRx Script Exchange or MediSecure in your practice and that's where the original prescription is stored. That's where the legal form is stored.
 
Once the medicine is dispensed and there's a repeat for that prescription, the pharmacy software sends another token to the patient so that's their repeat token and they'll use that next time to get their prescription repeat filled.
 
Once the token is scanned in and used to dispense the medicine, it can’t be used again; it's a one-use item. The prescriptions delivery service will lock the prescription as soon as it's accessed by the pharmacy so no other pharmacy can dispense it at the same time.
 
Although, of course, if they don't end up completing that transaction, if they don't end up dispensing it, the electronic prescription will be available again and can be accessed using the same token.
 
So tokens do need to be kept by the patient in the same way that they look after their paper prescriptions. If it's lost it can be re-sent rather than reissued, you can just resend the token by the prescriber or the pharmacist who generated the repeat token. You don't need to create a new token, but they do need to have it re-sent to them if they lose it. The extra prescription is stored online in the prescription delivery service and can't be lost as such, but the patient can forward their token to a carer or a family member to take to the pharmacy on their behalf in the same way that they can give them a paper prescription to take to the pharmacy.
 
And there are also some mobile applications which are available to facilitate this, to help keep their electronic prescriptions in one place and organise the storage and I'm pleased to say I've seen a few of those in use, and I think they really effective for the right person.
 
The good news is that, following strong advocacy from the RACGP that the SMSs for sending these tokens are currently subsidised, and so there will be no cost to the practice of sending electronic prescription tokens until at least 30th of June 2021.
 
What happens after that we're not quite sure yet, there's been no further announcements, but it's really good to get you into the habit of sending electronic prescribing or get used to the electronic prescribing system without any cost to the practice.
 
So, what's the patient experience like?
 
Well, you might have been a patient at a practice that has got electronic prescribing and experienced this yourself, but if you haven't, what happens is that you instantly receive an SMS or an email that says ‘you've got a new prescription’ and you get one text or email per medicine prescribed.
 
As mentioned, that doesn't include details such as your name or the information on the prescription for privacy and security reasons, but it links to that token that will be displayed on their phone.
 
We certainly recommend that you confirm with the patient that they've received that message, because otherwise when they get to the pharmacy and they look for their token they're going to be giving you a ring and saying ‘hey, hasn’t turned up yet’.
 
So when the patient clicks on the link it will take them to a QR code token and that's what they present to the pharmacy for them to scan. They'll also be able to tell whether it's expired, or if it's been dispensed already or if the prescription has been cancelled, you know, so if any of those things happen, instead of seeing the QR code they get a little message that says ‘this prescription has been cancelled’.
 
Now the good news is that if the patient has something called the Active Script List - which we'll discuss shortly - they don't actually need to take that token with them, they just say ‘I've got an Active Script List’ and the pharmacy will make sure they are who they say they are, and then they'll be able to look at what scripts they've got available and dispense what they need.
 
 
The benefits of electronic prescribing is around providing convenience and choice to the patient, but also improving prescribing, dispensing efficiency and accuracy, which in turn can reduce prescribing dispensing errors.
 
The token is really helpful because it removes the need for that paper or physical document which can be lost or damaged. And, of course, if we're using telehealth, then the patient is not in front of us and it’s a lot easier to get an SMS to a patient than a piece of paper.
 
The token can also easily be sent to another person to pick up medicines on their behalf, so they could forward it to their son who's in town at the moment, or even sometimes send it directly to the pharmacy.
 
So tokens are very safe, you know they're securely stored and they don't contain enough information that would violate people's privacy if they are sent to the wrong person, and they can easily be re-sent if the token is lost or accidentally deleted. You don't have to necessarily cancel and re-prescribe, you can just re-send the token.
 
However, there are some limitations. They can be accidentally deleted so for someone who doesn't take lots of medicines, if there’s only a one or two things they're fine, but as soon as the patient is taking multiple medicines, we've certainly seen it gets a little bit difficult to manage having lots of lots of tokens. If the patient has a repeat then they'll receive another token, which replaces the original token that's received from their GP, so that adds to the confusion.
 
If they are deleted, they can be re-issued by the prescriber or by the pharmacy and, as mentioned earlier, the mobile apps that allow you to manage those tokens do a really good job of helping with some of that confusion.
 
The other limitations are that, as mentioned earlier, you can't choose an electronic prescription and then ask to swap back to a paper prescription for the repeat. Once they've got the electronic prescription, they need to get tokens for the repeats as well or use their Active Script List.
 
The patients that this is good for are the people who are taking a small number of medications and who are really comfortable with a smartphone or have access to an email or device that can open that QR code link.
 
Patients who are not comfortable with that kind of stuff might prefer to have their token printed out, which means that they get a piece of paper with the QR code on it. They could get it sent to a family member or a carer, or they can just receive a paper prescription as normal. I really want to emphasise that it really needs to be the patients’ choice, it really needs to be what they are comfortable with.
 
And finally, the other limitation of electronic prescribing is that you do need to have conformance software to generate an electronic prescription. It's really important to make sure you have the up to date version of your software and talk to your software vendor about whether electronic prescribing is available.
 
In particular there are both national and some states have additional requirements so making sure that your software is approved for use both at a national level and in your jurisdiction.
 
To deal with some of those limitations, the Australian Digital Health Agency has been working with a number of groups on the Active Script List.
 
At the moment, the Active Script List is a pharmacy centric service where pharmacies get people to register for an ASL (you’ll hear me use the term ASL which means Active Script List) so that means that they consent and they agree to the terms and conditions for use, and then they will be registered for it by the pharmacy. Testing of this started in February this year, and that has included technical testing and seeing how it works on the pharmacy end, talking to pharmacists and patients about the process and what they need to know about consenting and using it.
 
In the next financial year we're looking to see that prescribing software will be able to send scripts to the Active Script List, test workflows and offer GP assisted registration. So if you want your patient to have an Active Script List, we're hoping that you'll be able to sign them up in the next little while.
 
As the name suggests, the Active Script List is a list of all the patients’ active prescriptions, which includes their repeats.
 
If a patient consents to the pharmacy having access to their ASL, the pharmacy doesn't need any tokens anymore, and the patient doesn't have to manage their tokens. They can still get them, but they are no longer required.
 
Prescribing medicines to a patient who's registered with the ASL is cost neutral for the practice. There's no cost involved in sending a script to the script list which can be more appealing than sending an SMS or an email, which cost the practice of money.
 
The patient does need to confirm their identity with the pharmacist and give consent to access the script list before they can have any medication dispensed.
 
Patients will not automatically get an ASL. It’s an opt-in process only. They need to register through the pharmacy at this stage and they will need to consent to the terms of conditions of the ASL service. Pharmacies will be able to assist patients to complete that process and to understand how to interact with it for accessing their medication.
 
In the first release, the only people that can see the ASL are pharmacists, so patients won't be able to see it and GPs won't be able to see it either.
 
Now, if the patient's got a script list, once they sign up, their electronic prescriptions will be sent to it by default. You as a prescriber won't have to do anything different and, in fact, you may not even know that they have a script list unless they tell you.
 
There are some situations that patients might not want their script going into the ASL. We’re aware of a small group of people who prefer to have certain medications dispensed at other centers and get the usual medications for one pharmacy and others through another pharmacy. There is an option to stop electronic prescriptions from being uploaded to the ASL if the patient requests. They'll get a token and they'll have to take that to the pharmacy.
 
But you need to be really aware of that little wrinkle so patients who are on potentially sensitive medications may discuss that with you, and it's a really important thing to get right.
Otherwise, there's no change the way that prescribers interact with patients. There's no change the workflow for GPs. In most cases, if they’ve got an ASL you don't have to do anything in particular to make sure that the script gets there.
 
There are lots of resources available for general practice, patients and for the pharmacies. The Digital Health Agency have a number of tools which you can print out, which include information on the ASL and we’ll be including the website and the login details for those in the webinar resources pack, along with the fact sheets and our college resources that we've produced.
 
So just to walk through it from the patient end, if the patient wants to be set up with an ASL, that would involve going to their preferred pharmacy prior to coming to see you and requesting to be registered for an ASL. They'll need to confirm their identity, accept the terms and conditions of the script list service and basically agree that all prescriptions will go to their ASL unless they withdraw their consent.
 
Then the patient will come to the doctor as normal, you'll issue an electronic prescription. And that electronic prescription is automatically added to the ASL, unless you tick the box that says ‘do not upload the ASL’.
 
So the patient doesn't need a token, but they can also get one if they want. It's important to remember that the prescription can still only be dispensed once. As soon as it's been dispensed from the ASL the token becomes inactive. Then patient will go to their preferred pharmacy, confirm that they are who they say they are, and then they'll receive their medication.
 
Once the medication is dispensed, that prescription is no longer in the ASL. It's no longer an active prescription. If they have repeats, they'll go on to the ASL but it's important to remember that the ASL only contains medications which are available for dispensing so it’s not a complete record of the patient's medication history.
 
The first time a patient goes to a new pharmacy they'll need to obtain consent and the way that will probably work is that the pharmacist will say ‘I need to access your ASL’, the patient says yes, they'll get an SMS or an email, and that will say ‘reply with 1 if you don't want the pharmacy access your active script list, reply with 2 to give the pharmacy access for 24 hours, or reply with 3 to deny access’.
 
The benefits of the ASL system are that there is an accurate up to date list of all the patients’ current electronic prescriptions, and patients will no longer need to keep track of the tokens. So it's impossible to lose a prescription that's available in the ASL.
 
That means that it's really ideal for patients who are on multiple medications, and means that they don't have to be flicking through their phone to be finding tokens when they're turning up to the pharmacy.
 
And if you've got patients who are on dose administration aids where you're happy to provide some prescriptions without seeing the patient, so you might have patients in residential aged care facilities or disability care, the ASL is a really good model for them as well, because they don't have to be shuffling tokens between you, their phone and the pharmacy.
 
In the future the functionality will be made available that you'll be able to look and see what scripts a patient has on the ASL, a bit like a patient bringing their little folder of prescriptions and saying ‘oh look, I've still got all these which are still good’. But that functionality hasn't been developed yet. At the moment, just to reiterate, the only people who can see what scripts are available in the ASL are pharmacists.
 
The limitations of the active script list.
 
The big thing is that you can either let people have access to it or not. There's no shades of grey, so if they've got a prescription of a particularly sensitive nature that they may only be comfortable taking to certain pharmacies, they need to make you aware of that and to receive a token instead. They need to make that request to you and you need to tick that box in your software.
 
The other thing that people need to be aware of is that all paper prescriptions with what's called an ETP (an electronic transfer of prescriptions) barcode – so if you've got a barcode on your printed script - they will be visible in the ASL as well.
 
If people don't want their things to appear on the ASL, they either must be sent a token or they must be given a paper prescription without a barcode and you might choose to hand write that if you can't turn that function off in your software.
 
Patients do need to respond to the SMS or email to consent for new pharmacies to view their ASL, and so if they go to three or four different pharmacies they will need to do that three or four different times. It's possible that that can be done in the future via an app or a mobile application, but that functionality isn’t available yet.
 
If there is a prescription in their ASL, and they want it removed, you have to cancel the prescription, or the pharmacy has to cancel the repeat. So that can be a bit of an inconvenience to the patient if for some reason there's a script that they don't want to keep anymore.
 
And, as mentioned, it's not what we call a current medications list. The only scripts in there that are electronic prescriptions (the ones that haven't been dispensed yet), and there may also be ETP scripts so paper prescriptions for the barcode that still exist in the ASL view, even though they've been manually dispensed by the pharmacist.
 
We do sometimes get questions ‘but doesn't that allow things to be dispensed twice?’, but it's important that pharmacists all know that the ETP scanning the barcode is not the prescription, so they will need to have the actual hard copy in front of them before they dispense the prescription.
 
And, initially at least, there's no access for patients to the ASL so if they move house or they need to change their phone number for texts, the pharmacist or pharmacy has to do that for them.
 
So those are the two areas that you need to be aware of for electronic prescribing.
Now we're just going to talk briefly - if your practice is not actively engaged with ePrescribing - what the things that you need to do to start with.
 
There's a lot of words on the screen and these details are all available in the resources that we’ll be sending you.
 
The first thing is to ask your practice manager or practice principal to make sure that your software is connected to something called the HI or Health Identifiers service and that all of your staff have health professional identifiers recorded with them. The good news is that if you are using My Health Record in your practice, that has almost certainly been done for you.
 
The second thing is that you need to make sure your prescribers are connected to a Prescription Delivery Service. And again, you may very likely have already arranged this. If you've got barcodes being printed out on your paper prescriptions already you're almost certainly connected to either eRx or MediSecure, who are the two prescription delivery services that you need for electronic prescribing.
 
Each patient needs to have an email or a phone number on their file either for them, or for their carer and your front desk in a credit to practices will be doing that already. So hopefully that's not something that you have to do, although the first time you issue an electronic prescription to someone it's probably worth confirming that you've still got their correct details.
 
You do need to make sure that your Clinical Information System, your record software, is up to date and is approved for electronic prescribing/is conformant, so your practice staff can contact your software provider to discuss that with them.
 
And then you need to make sure that everyone in the practices is on board.
 
Now my practice reception staff are really thrilled that we were getting electronic prescribing because they didn't want to have to handle all the paper for the image-based prescribing that we've all been doing for the last year or so.
 
The doctors were a little bit harder to get on side, some of them wanted to see how others go first and certainly your software may allow some of your doctors to start electronic prescribing and not others. So, for example, I've got it turned on but some of the other doctors in my practice don't.
 
And it's worth staying up to date with information from your software provider and the RACGP. We'll do our best to keep you up to date with the information through our regular communication channels and published on our website.
 
Electronic prescribing is still relatively new in Australia it's really only been live for little over 12 months. So things are changing. We've seen several versions of the technical specifications come out and there may be further changes to the workflow. So be aware that it’s new and may change in the future.
 
And just make sure you're aware of all the legislative and PBS requirements that apply to the prescriptions you write so, for example, some states require particular approval numbers to be printed on scripts or repeat intervals, and those things don't change just because we're using electronic prescribing.
 
The good news is that you don't have to hand write on electronic prescriptions if you're in a state that still requires handwriting for schedule 8s, but many of the other restrictions still apply so, for example, repeat intervals on schedule 8 drugs.
 
And it's worth checking in with your local pharmacy although 97% of Community pharmacies are set up, there are still a number of pharmacies around that aren’t ready yet. And so you might just want to flick them a quick note, just to say ‘we're going to start doing ePrescribing soon, let us know if that's going to be a problem’.
 
But certainly in our area we've got lots of pharmacies that are dispensing ePrescriptions, so it's not like the patient will be totally unable to access them.
 
The next diagram is just a basic overview of how to create electronic prescriptions. Basically the prescription in most software is created as normal - there's no change. You search for the drug, you type in the instructions you select quantity or repeat PBS status and so on, and at the end of selecting that, you need to choose how the patient would like to receive their prescription – whether they’d like paper or tokens.
 
And you may even be able to print out the token, it's just important to remember and we went round and round in the work groups about this, but a printed token or printed QR code is not a prescription. It's just the access to the prescription so it's got to be printed on plain paper, not the PBS paper we're all used to. And then, once you've chosen how the patient will receive that token that will be sent using the mobile number or the email address that are on your patient file. So it's really important that you make sure you update that before you create the prescription.
 
Software vendors have incorporated this flow slightly differently; this description is how it works in some of the big packages. We use something that's a little bit less common, and so we actually choose that after we've written all scripts, we choose whether to send prescriptions by token or by ASL or by paper.
 
It's really important that - and several people have asked me to reiterate - that it's the patient who is responsible for their electronic prescriptions, so the SMS or email needs to be sent to them or to the nominated provider.
 
With the image-based prescribing we could send it direct to the pharmacy, but it's really important that the patient looks after their prescriptions so, to avoid certain regulatory infringement and to make sure that the patient has control, we're really encouraging everybody to send it direct to the patient or their carer.
 
And again, just mentioning the ASL, you might see a little box that says ‘don't send to ASL’ or ‘exclude from the ASL’. If you're patient asks you to do that it's really important to be aware of where that functionality is, so just check when you're doing that one day, or ask your software provider if you need more information.
 
So that's been a brief overview of the current electronic prescribing system in Australia.
 
There are lots of resources to support you in electronic prescribing. Some are available from the RACGP and the Australian Digital Health Agency in the webinar resource pack, but you'll also find them online on our website.
 
So you'll find clinical technology resources on the topics of things like My Health Record, telehealth and Active Ingredient Prescribing as well.
 
And then we've also got lots of resources around the business side of things, like secure electronic communications and using email in general practice and you'll find links to those resources in the webinar resources pack.
 
The Australian Digital Health Agency also has a huge number of resources available and they run regular webinars and events on electronic prescribing and other topics, so My Health Record and other things that they support.
 
A lot of these webinars are tailored specifically to GPs and general practice staff, and there's also some online training modules for My Health Record that we've certainly found useful in the past. And again, the link to that website will be in your webinar resources pack.
 
So that's the end of the slides, and I think Angela you might have some questions for us.
 
Ms Angela Parker:
 
Yes, thanks David for the overview, that was great. We do often get asked what the difference is between electronic prescribing and image-based prescriptions. Are you able to clarify that?
 
Dr David Adam:
 
Yes, sure. We've talked almost exclusively today about electronic prescribing. Image-based prescribing (where you send a photo or a fax by email or send a photo by email or fax of the prescription to the pharmacy) is a temporary measure that was introduced in 2020 and that means that the pharmacist can dispense the prescription without having a hard copy in front of them.
 
That was really to support patients and prescribers and pharmacists during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia in 2020. Remove the need to collect the hard copy for them practice and physically attend the pharmacy to have the medicines dispensed.
 
Now this is really great for telehealth. I know when I was in quarantine, I did lots of lots of image-based prescribing from home, and the problem with that was that there were some restrictions around particularly some schedule 4 and schedule 8 medicines. And that is only a temporary measure. So the allowance for image-based prescribing will probably be removed in the near future.
 
Electronic prescribing is the long-term solution.
 
Ms Angela Parker:
 
Are there exclusions on prescribing/dispensing some medicines like schedule 4 and 8 medicines by electronic prescriptions?
 
Dr David Adam:
 
Definitely not. All medicines can be prescribed and dispensed by electronic prescribing.
 
It doesn't negate the need to complete the other processes so if you still need an authority number for your prescription, you will still need to complete that if you need to seek state approval before prescribing, you still need to do that. It's not just a free for all.
 
Ms Angela Parker:
 
David, can I ask you to clarify what an ePrescription token actually looks like?
 
Dr David Adam:
 
So when it appears on your phone, you'll get a link. It'll say ‘click here to access the prescription’ and then you'll open it up and there'll be a QR code, which I think most of us are pretty familiar with after checking in everywhere we go. And, as well as the image of that code, there is the patient's initials at the name of the medicine, and the date it was prescribed and the number of repeats remaining on that.
 
Ms Angela Parker:
 
And you mentioned earlier that an SMS subsidy is currently in place. Can you explain what happens after June 30? Will practices have to then pay for the cost of an SMS?
 
Dr David Adam:
 
 Look we're going to do our best to continue to advocate for the subsidy to be extended. The RACGP is continuing to work with the Federal Department of Health and the Australian Digital Health Agency to support an ongoing funding model that allows you to prescribe electronically.
 
However, if the subsidy isn't extended, you may have to absorb the cost of sending SMS tokens, so that's a big variable depending on what your software provider is and it'd be worth checking with them.
 
You can send tokens by email, which for many providers doesn't incur any charge to the practice, and then when the ASL fully becomes available later this year or early next year that will be another cost-neutral method of selling prescriptions.
 
I have to say that the mobile applications and other token management things that are coming out are really making it easy to manage those things, so hopefully there'll be some more innovative solutions to this in the future.
 
Ms Angela Parker:
 
And how easy is it for a patient to share their prescription with a family member or friend, so that they can collect the medicine on their behalf?
 
Dr David Adam:
 
So if you can forward an email or forward an SMS, that's probably the easiest way.
 
Otherwise, if the patients in consultation with you, and they say ‘oh look, you know my son is going to go and get it, can you send the script to his phone number instead’, you can do that as well. You can opt to send a prescription token to a carer or someone assisting the patient.
 
Ms Angela Parker:
 
That's great. Thank you very much David for the overview, and for clarifying those questions.
 
For our attendees, if you have a question for us that we haven't addressed you can email the RACGP’s Practice Technology and Management unit at ehealth@racgp.org.au and the team will get back to you within two business days.
 
The RACGP has also developed a short survey to better understand your experiences with electronic prescribing so that we can best advocate for you and your patients and ensure that you have relevant resources available to support you.
 
The survey is expected to take approximately 5 to 10 minutes and all responses will remain anonymous. A link to the survey is included in the resources pack if you'd like to take part.
 
We hope that you found this webinar informative. Thank you for attending and we hope that you'll join us for future webinars in our Practice Essentials Webinar Series.
 
The webinar resource pack is available to download from the RACGP website where you joined this webinar.
 
To report your CPD points, you can either click on the quick log button on the webinar page, or login through myRACGP.
 
For other attendees who are members of other professional colleges, please report your CPD points as you would usually do.
 
You can also stay up to date by subscribing to the monthly RACGP Practice Technology and Management newsletter. We've included the subscribe link in the webinar resource pack also.
 
Thank you and goodbye.

Other RACGP online events

Originally recorded:

25 May 2021

Electronic prescribing is now available in most parts of Australia, with the majority of Australians now having the choice of an electronic prescription instead of a paper prescription.

This webinar provides an update on electronic prescribing and explains how electronic prescriptions can be managed via tokens and the Active Script List (ASL), a newer functionality that is now rolling out across Australia.

Download the webinar resource pack here

Learning outcomes

  1. Articulate how electronic prescribing works as a prescriber
  2. Articulate how a prescriber can issue a token directly to the patient, add it to their Active Script List or do both
  3. Describe potential benefits and limitations of electronic prescribing
  4. Explain how electronic prescriptions work for their patients
  5. Implement electronic prescribing in their practice
This event attracts 2 CPD points

This event attracts 2 CPD points

Host

Ms Angela Parker

Presenter

Dr David Adam
MBBS, DCH, FRACGP

David is a general practitioner and hospice doctor in the eastern suburbs of Perth. He is a member of the Practice Technology and Management RACGP Expert Committee and represented the RACGP in the Electronic Prescribing Technical Working Group established by the Australian Digital Health Agency and the Department of Health.

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