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Top tips for upgrading to EPS release 2

As the NHS reforms could force a national EPS roll-out, Jennifer Richardson shares top tips she picked up at the Avicenna Conference on how to upgrade to EPS release 2 sooner rather than later

As PSNC works with key NHS stakeholders to ensure a "careful, staged deployment" of release 2 of the electronic prescription service (EPS), Rx Systems' sales director Stephen Hards had the following advice for any Avicenna Conference 2012 delegates looking to upgrade to EPS release 2 sooner rather than later.

1 Remember that you've been paid to upgrade – upgrading to release 2 should be a cost-free exercise due to contractual funding allowances

2 Obtain EPS R2 smartcards – do this for both pharmacists and other staff to set nominations

TOP TIP Pharmacists who work in more than one branch should apply for a locum code to allow them to move between them easily

3 Scan as many EPS release 1 prescriptions as possible – do this as soon as possible, to get used to the new way of working

4 Set up and use a nomination standard operating procedure (SOP) for EPS – organisations such as the NPA have templates

5 Check that your pharmacy's details are correct on the NHS Choices website

How?

  • Search for your pharmacy on NHS Choices, using its postcode, area or name
  • Go to your pharmacy's individual page
  • Look at the URL (the web page address in the browser bar) – it will start http://www.nhs.uk/Services/pharmacies/Overview/DefaultView.aspx?id=ph_
  • The first five-letter/number sequence (beginning with F) that follows should match the code for your pharmacy's NHS Prescription Services account (NACS code)
  • If it does not, contact your PCT

6 Check the EPS deployment map frequently - this will enable you to find out what is happening in your area

Three benefits to be gained from EPS release 2

• Opportunity to further ring-fence patients to your pharmacy through prescription nomination

• Electronic claims should mean better pricing accuracy

• Better dispensary management – less re-keying and more time to prepare repeat prescriptions

Three potential risks from EPS release 2

• Other pharmacies are able to set nominations and capture patients

• There is a minimum NHS CfH lead-time – usually four weeks or more from order to upgrade

Learning curve – there is a lot to understand and learn in order to use release 2 functionality.

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