Lloydspharmacy is "in the process of" rolling out its approved system for release two of the electronic prescription service (EPS), prompting Numark to once again warn independents not to be left behind.
Lloydspharmacy has been testing the system, which has been approved by Connecting for Health as compliant with the latest EPS phase, "for a number of months" and said it has been "well received" by pharmacy teams, patients and GPs.
The news followed warnings from suppliers that independents must upgrade to release two systems as soon as possible to ensure they can compete with multiples and get patients signed up to EPS. Under the service, patients can "nominate" a pharmacy to receive their electronic prescriptions.
Lloydspharmacy could roll out its system fully "within a very short time frame", Numark warned.
"Independents running Pharmacy Manager and ProScript have the same opportunity to upgrade, however, nothing's going to happen without their say-so – they have to take control and contact their system supplier to place the order," said Andy Charlesworth, Numark's IT services manager.
Mr Charlesworth stressed that patient nomination was "crucial" to maintaining business.
"Independents must jump on the opportunity now and start engaging with patients and capturing their nominations," he said. "Regardless of what the competition is doing, independents must see that patient nomination is crucial – an opportunity for pharmacies to retain business and strengthen the relationship they have with their patients."
System suppliers including AAH, Cegedim Rx and Rx Systems, had said EPS approval would be "good news" for independents in April.
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