17 Dec 2014 | Medication Safety
Almost all New Zealand’s pharmacies are now connected to the New Zealand ePrescription Service (NZePS), with the few remaining pharmacies expected to be connected by the end of the year.
These pharmacies are using software provided by vendors Toniq or HealthSoft.
In another major milestone for the rollout of the service, NZePS is expected to be introduced into general practices using Medtech software from February 2015.
NZePS has already been introduced into most myPractice sites. With the rollout into Medtech sites, this will give about 96 percent of the country’s general practices access to NZePS.
Soon after the Medtech roll-out, prescribers connected to NZePS will also be able to start issuing electronic prescriptions for controlled drugs rather than having to handwrite the current controlled drug form in triplicate.
Almost 11 million prescriptions have been processed electronically since NZePS was introduced in July 2013, with about 1.4 million prescriptions now being processed electronically each month.
NZePS is part of the medicines management focus of the national medicines safety programme, which is co-sponsored by the National Health Board, National Health IT Board and Health Quality & Safety Commission.
The first stage of NZePS has focused on general practice prescriptions dispensed in community pharmacies.
NZePS enables community pharmacies to retrieve an electronic version of a paper prescription given to a patient, with prescribers sent notifications when a patient’s medicines are dispensed and picked up.
Vendors are continuing to develop their software systems to enable prescribers working in specialists and outpatient services, nurse prescribers, midwives and eventually all community pharmacy prescribers to connect to NZePS. Discharge prescriptions will also be connected to the service.