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'Revolutionary' software allows pharmacists to access GP records

System aims to "close the loop" between patients, pharmacists and GPs by allowing prescriptions to be transmitted electronically between them, says Numark

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

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Consumers accept electronic prescribing

EPS could be 'Trojan horse' for pharmacists' access to patient records


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.


Additional responsibility

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.


Smartphones

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?
 
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18 Comments

Simon Stevenson, Non healthcare professional

As Nigel stated, there is nothing revolutionary about this.

And it's no surprise that Numark were granted exclusivity first.....for anyone who needs the dots joining....

Phoenix owns 100% of Numark
Phoenix owns 100% of Rowlands
Phoenix owns 21% of RX Systems

[email protected], Community pharmacist

"the Pharmacy Access software would allow a prescription to be sent from a patient the whole way through the healthcare system to a GP" according to Andy.
Eh??? Why would a patient do this?

This update is one of the main reasons that we will not be renewing our contract with Proscript. We bought our current package

[email protected], Community pharmacist

[Argh didn't finish]

We bought our package just over 2 years ago. We were supplied version 2.61. A month later a newer version of the software version 4 was released. This "revolutionary" software only works with version 4. We were offered no upgrade.

This company will not upgrade it's software for you automatically as it rolls out, especially when you are paying them hundreds of pounds a month.

Be wary of signing up as they will release newer versions afterwards and you will not be eligible for them.

As an aside I didn't realise this would be used as an advertising tool by Numark. I am unsure whether I would want to be associated with a form of spam that my customers would be receiving.

Nigel Baker,

please all be aware there is nothing 'revolutionary' about this. The API is being opened up to everyone and all companies by the NHS (about time) and will bring greater choice to what suits your business - look around

James Waldron, Editorial

Thank you for your comments and questions. We will be posing some of these to Numark and publishing their responses in due course.

Regards,
James Waldron (C+D news editor)

Pharmacist Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

If u work for a multiple they wont be keen on using it due to litigation reasons. GPs wont be happy letting us use it.

Brian Austen, Senior Management

Sounds good doesn't it! GP surgeries will continue to process repeat prescriptions as they always have done because they cannot absolve themselves of responsibility. Pharmacists will be duplicating work, not taking on work that the GP and staff have done in the past. The reason only 25% of GPs are using EPS2 is because they do not feel in control and worry about patient safety. This App cannot ensure that the patient uses the same pharmacy because the patient cannot be persuaded to use it all the time. I cannot really see any advantage of this over similar mobile platforms that have been in use a long time.

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

The 25% figure for GPs using EPS2 is due to lack of resources at local level to help GPs switch on, not due to reluctance on their part in switching on. This is a classic case of using spin to create interest in a system that is bound to fail unless proper pharmacy patient registration becomes a reality.

Brian Austen, Senior Management

As an ex practice manager I have seen more than adequate resources in practices for 'switching on' and using EPS2. I can assure you there is a reluctance by GPs to use it.

N Davda, Superintendent Pharmacist

i would look into the legal aspects first- who takes clinical responsibility and dont forget patients will just walk into the pharmacies ordering everything - more workload for pharmacies

Roy Sinclair, Community pharmacist

Why is this software called Revolutionary ?
Why is there a need for access to patient records to be limited and how limited ?
How is this limitation set up and what is the potential for error ?
There is a suggestion that the Patient 'controls and sends' rather than requests a prescription electronically.
Can the patient view their record or partial record ?
What is the G.P. view of this software ?
What is the cost of GPs buying in to this software ?
What checks ensure the Patient and not the pharmacy are requesting the repeat prescription ?
How portable is this to other systems ?
There are more questions than answers here !

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

Having given this further consideration all I can see for the Pharmacist with this system (apart from greater litigation risk) is more work/stress/problems on top of the considerable amount being generated by EPSr2.

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

Oh, and just how much does this software cost?

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

Remember the increased risk of litigation that could come with access to patient records.

Dispensing an item that conflicts with an underlying medical condition when you have access to the patient’s medical records will increase your liability considerably.
The “if there is blame there is a claim” litigation/compensation industry will increasingly target Pharmacists as a new revenue stream. A simultaneous complaint to the GPhC is probable with every case to increase the likely payout.

Questions:

Will you really have time to examine every patient record to look for problems?
Will you be financially compensated for the increased risks you run?

If the answer is no to either of these questions you may consider access to patients records to be not such a good idea.

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

This is a welcome development and needs to be considered in terms of the benefit to the patient going forward. It brings holistic care forward, and if pharmacists have a prescribing role for patients an excellent platform for building clinical partnership working.

[email protected], Community pharmacist

"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?" John D'Arcy said.

eh, how about time involved maybe money?
More responsibility means I need more time, more staff and you know maybe I'd like to be paid more for doing more. This, while attractive to the patient, just gives me more work and more stress.

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

All we need now is a revolutionary GP to allow us to use it...

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

How about Surgeries with attached Pharmacy ??

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