Technology is once again making life a lot more convenient thanks to new changes made to Commonwealth legislation regarding prescriptions.
In Australia, electronic prescriptions are now recognised as a legal form to allow medicine supply.
The system will be progressively rolled out across Australia over the next few months, with the Department of Health fast-tracking the implementation to help protect people most at risk from exposure to COVID-19.
An alternative to paper prescriptions, the introduction of electronic prescriptions has seen pharmacies such as Amcal undergo a digital transformation that enables patients and prescribers to access medicines when physical contact is not possible.
So, what exactly does the introduction of electronic prescriptions mean for you and your family? Below, we've rounded up seven facts you should know about electronic prescriptions.
Electronic prescriptions can be accessed by patients in two different ways: via a token or an online list.
The token model works in the same way an aeroplane ticket works; you show your phone with the QR code to the pharmacy, they scan it and then download the details of the prescription.
The second model, referred to as the Active Script List, is an online repository that stores all of your scripts securely in the prescription exchange. With your consent, the pharmacist can access your list and dispense the medications you request.
The token model will be live in Australia soon, and your pharmacist or doctor may begin offering them to you. The Active script list is expected to become available later in the year.
Electronic prescriptions work in the same way as paper prescriptions: customers simply present their electronic prescriptions to a pharmacist who scans and processes the order. However, at Amcal Pharmacies, you will soon have the option to send your electronic prescription to your pharmacist ahead of time and skip the queue when you arrive to collect your medication using the Amcal app.
You are also able to send in and pick up medication from pharmacies on behalf of another person — your local pharmacy will check you have consent to pick up someone else's prescription. Using the 'Carer Mode' in the Amcal app, you can manage your family and loved one's paper and electronic prescriptions in one place.
It seems there truly is an app for everything these days, medicine included.
Some pharmacies, including many Amcal Pharmacy locations, are now offering home delivery on prescribed medicines. Customers simply download the Amcal app (available on Apple or Android), log in and place their order through their prescription list. Payment can be made either on the app or over the phone to the pharmacy.
The Amcal app also offers deliveries for loved ones as well as contactless delivery.
Electronic prescriptions are being introduced to make it easier for people to keep track of their prescriptions. However, it is the patient's choice whether or not they wish to adopt the new method. Patients are still welcome to use paper prescriptions.
You don't need a My Health Record to use electronic prescriptions, only a Medicare or DVA card.
The Amcal app allows you to store your electronic prescriptions, to view and share with your pharmacy for dispensing.
Electronic prescriptions meet a high level of privacy and security. Your prescription is protected and cannot be accessed by anyone without your consent.
Because electronic prescriptions are stored securely in the cloud, you and your local Amcal pharmacist will be able to retrieve your prescriptions when and where you need them, never lose a script or leave it at home again. Amcal has been trusted to look after customers' medications for 80 years.
Brought to you by Amcal