Numark has unveiled revolutionary software that allows pharmacists to access GPs records with patient consent.
The software package, designed by Rx Systems, aimed to "close the loop" between patients, pharmacists and GPs by allowing prescriptions to be transmitted electronically between them, Numark said.
Rx Systems developed a system to connect its ProScript software in pharmacies with its EMIS software in GP surgeries. This would allow pharmacies to electronically check repeat prescriptions against a limited view of the surgery's patient records before submitting them to a GP to authorise, Numark IT services manager Andrew Charlesworth said yesterday (May 29).
As part of the software package, patients are given a mobile phone app that allows them to request their repeat prescription from the pharmacy by selecting from a list of medications, said Mr Charlesworth.
The software package will allow prescriptions to be transmitted electronically between patients, pharmacists and GPs, says Numark
More on the EPS
Only a quarter of GPs have signed up to the electronic prescription service (EPS), according to latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, and Rx System's Pharmacy Access software was designed to reduce this "dis-connectivity" between GPs and pharmacists, Mr Charlesworth said.
Current EPS software only allows repeat prescriptions to be sent electronically from a GP to the pharmacy, but the Pharmacy Access software would allow a prescription to be sent from a patient "the whole way through the healthcare system" to a GP, Mr Charlesworth said.
Although the patient app and the pharmacy software could be used without connecting with a GP surgery, the full benefits of the system would only be felt if a GP with EMIS software "bought into" the idea and agreed to link up with the pharmacy, Mr Charlesworth said. Both GPs and patients would have to give written consent before they could use the software, he stressed.
Numark managing director John D'Arcy said the system would require pharmacists to take on extra responsibility, as they would need to check the repeat prescription electronically after it had been filled out by the patient on their app.
"Some will say that's a load of additional work, but progress is about taking responsibility. This is an important component of [patient] care, so why wouldn't you take responsibility from beginning to end?" he said.
Pharmacies operating a repeat prescription collection service could save up to15 hours per week using the system, Numark estimated.
The My Local Pharmacy app, which is free to download, would ensure patients nominated the same pharmacy to receive their repeat prescription each time, by using a code provided to the patient by the pharmacy when they signed up, Mr Charlesworth said.
The app is available for Apple and Android phones and can be used to send reminders for patients to take their medication and to advertise promotional offers from Numark and the pharmacy itself, he added.
The software has been available since the start of May to Numark members who have signed up to its Numark Assist support scheme.
Rx Systems said yesterday (May 29) that Rowlands pharmacies that used its ProScript software would also be able to access GP records. But Rx Systems managing director Ian Taylor said the company had granted Numark exclusive access to the app software until the end of the year, at which point, it plans to make it available to other pharmacies.
Mr Taylor said Rx Systems parent company the EMIS group had recently acquired hospital records software Scribe and plans to expand its Pharmacy Access software to include access to hospital discharge information.
Do you think the new software is a good idea?