What is electronic prescribing?
Electronic prescribing is providing Australians with convenient access to their medicines and will improve patient safety by reducing the risk of transcription errors.
Electronic prescriptions will not be mandatory; patients will have a choice to receive either an electronic or a paper prescription from their prescriber (but not both). Electronic prescriptions will continue to support a patient’s right to choose their prescriber and pharmacy to supply their medicines.
Both electronic and paper prescriptions will need to comply with the relevant Commonwealth and State and Territory legislation requirements.
To dispense electronic prescriptions, you will need the capability built into your clinical information system.
Electronic prescriptions are being rolled out across Australia and are currently available by providing a ‘token’ for patients to receive access to their electronic prescription.
What are the benefits?
Benefits of electronic prescribing extend to the patient, healthcare provider and more broadly at a system level. These include:
- reducing the administrative burden for healthcare providers and organisations (e.g. more effective management of prescription refill requests)
- reducing prescription and transcription errors due to improved legibility of prescriptions
- providing an opportunity to protect community members and healthcare providers from exposure to infectious diseases (e.g. COVID-19) and ensure continuity of care
- maintaining patient privacy and integrity of personal information.
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Hear from digital health experts and leading health professionals currently using electronic prescribing and find out how to get your pharmacy ready.
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State and territory regulations
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.