A new tool from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) allows pharmacists to "see at glance" if there are any problems with the electronic prescription service (EPS), PSNC has said.
Pharmacy teams experiencing EPS issues could use the online service report to check whether there was a national service outage, or whether their problem was specific to their PMR system or pharmacy, PSNC said last week (June 17). It described this as a "major" improvement, which would give teams "confidence" to know when to contact their EPS provider for support.
PSNC said the tool provided live information on any national or localised issues with the national services that EPS relies on: central NHS IT system the Spine; the Care Identity Service, which manages smartcard access; and N3, the network through which pharmacists connect to NHS services.
The negotiator added that an ongoing HSCIC review of how EPS incidents are logged, communicated and resolved had revealed that a lack of information about outages was users' “main issue” with the system. The new tool was a “first step, albeit a major one”, to solving this problem, PSNC said.
Pharmacists needed to insert their EPS smartcard to access the website containing the tool, PSNC said. The site also stored details of past outages, it said.
HSCIC was developing further ways to improve the management of EPS, which volunteers would test as part of its review, PSNC added.
Last week, a C+D poll revealed that nearly four in 10 readers faced daily problems with EPS.