Set up Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (ETP) in your Organisation

A paper prescription signed by an approved prescriber is the current recognised legal instrument authorising medicines supply. Some paper prescriptions contain a barcode that allows prescription information to be securely and electronically transferred between the electronic prescribing and dispensing systems, for verification by the dispensing pharmacist against the paper prescription, reducing data entry and risk of transcription error. This is known as the electronic transfer of prescriptions (ETP).

Factsheet: Electronic Prescribing

This factsheet details the information about Electronic Prescribing, and the requirement for implementation in Australia.

Changes to Commonwealth legislation commenced on 31 October 2019 recognising an electronic prescription as an alternative legal form by which medicines can be supplied under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Previously, only a paper prescription signed by a prescriber has been the legal form by which medicines can be supplied.

Download: Electronic Prescribing Fact Sheet (PDF, 597KB)

    Your organisation must have clinical software that is capable of sending ETP. Contact your software vendor. Your security and authentication keys must be properly installed and operating (so your prescription is securely encrypted before it leaves your clinical software and your organisation is identified as the sender). Contact your software vendor for further information.

Step 1Register with a prescription exchange service (PES)

Details of how to register with the two PES providers operating in Australia are available on their websites – eRX Script Exchange and MediSecure. Your clinical software may determine which PES you register with as not all systems are integrated with both PESs. The two PES vendors have entered into arrangements with existing clinical software providers such as Medical Director, Best Practice, Zedmed, Genie and others, to integrate the software required for ETP within existing clinical software. This means the PES sits behind your current clinical workflow, so it is unlikely that you will need additional software to use ETP.

Step 2Activate the PES

To register your organisation must have clinical software that is capable of sending ePrescriptions. Your clinical software may dictate which PES you register with as not all systems are integrated with both the PESs. Information about PES compliant software products for General Practice can be found at the Digital Health Product Register for Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions, or alternatively contact your software vendor.

Each ETP service provider has their own existing consent protocols. Please contact your ETP service provider for further information.