Electronic Prescription Service to be Pushed Out Nationally

Following a successful pilot in London and the East Midlands at the end of last year, involving 72 prescribers and 257 dispensers the NHS has made the decision to roll out the use of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) in integrated urgent care settings across the UK. Although the switch is not mandatory the NHS Digital hope that providers will be excited to switch to EPS in line with their individual paperless agenda targets.

What does this mean for patients?

Patients needing out of hours care from services such as; walk-in centers, minor injury units or NHS 111 will now be able to have their prescriptions sent electronically to the nearest pharmacy without having to rely on paper prescriptions. The roll-out should also prevent patients from having to resort to visiting A&E units for medication.

What does this mean for pharmacies?

The NHS hope that the scheme will help alleviate common delays in both hospital and community pharmacy due to faxing, emailing and dropping prescriptions off in person. The new system will also allow pharmacies to better manage dispensing meaning more time can be spent on patient care.

Initially, the service will only be available to those running the Advanced Adastra system (which accounts for the majority of the urgent care settings) but there are plans to work with other suppliers to develop this functionality on more systems. Dr. Vishen Ramkisson (senior clinical lead at NHS Digital) said ‘this is a significant step in extending the benefits of digital prescribing, providing a faster, better and more efficient system for patients, doctors and pharmacists.’

References

Digital Health. ‘Electronic prescription service to be pushed out nationally across urgent care’ [Online] Viewed June 2018 https://www.digitalhealth.net/2018/04/electronic-prescription-service-rolled-out-nationally/

NHS Digital. ‘Patients in urgent care settings to benefit from electronic prescriptions’ [Online] Viewed June 2018 https://digital.nhs.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/patients-in-urgent-care-settings-to-benefit-from-electronic-prescriptions