Electronic Prescriptions

About Electronic Prescribing - from www.health.gov.au

Electronic prescribing allows prescribers and their patients to use an electronic Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription. It forms part of an Australian Government budget measure to make the PBS more efficient.

Electronic prescriptions are part of the broader digital health and medicines safety framework. They enable the prescribing, dispensing and claiming of medicines, without the need for a paper prescription.

Electronic prescribing will not fundamentally change existing prescribing and dispensing processes. Patients can still choose which pharmacy they attend to fill their prescription.

Prescribers and patients can choose an electronic prescription instead of a paper prescription. Paper prescriptions will still exist.

Why it is important

Electronic prescribing is important because it:

  • Provides greater choice for patients

  • Makes prescribing and dispensing medicines more efficient

  • May reduce prescribing and dispensing errors

  • Supports electronic medication charts in hospitals and residential aged care facilities

  • Removes the need for handling and storing a physical paper prescription

  • Supports digital health services such as telehealth services to ensure continuity of patient care

  • Provides an opportunity to protect community members and health care providers from

    • Exposure to infectious diseases (COVID-19, for example)

    • Maintains patient privacy and integrity of personal information.

Goals of the initiative

Electronic prescribing aims to provide convenience and choice to patients while improving PBS efficiency, compliance and drug safety.